This morning I watched Martha, one of our beekeepers, walk out across the pasture and stand about 15 feet from her hives. She, and the other couple that also have hives in our pasture, come and look in on their bees a few times a month. Sometimes they come in with full bee suits and smokers to do seasonal maintenance but mostly, like today, they come in just to observe from a distance. A few days ago she was out to rearrange one of the hives. As I watched her peacefully observe I imagined that she was checking in on them. The moment was so peacefully perfectly still and I couldn't help admiring the beauty of the relationship between the bee and the beekeeper.
While we don't get any honey from these bee hives, they do provide a valuable service by pollinating all of our fruit trees. Really it wouldn't be much of an orchard without them.
There is much that we want to do out here and much that must be done. Having our own beehives is on the list. We'll get to it soon hopefully.
[EDIT: Later in the day after this original post, all three beekeepers showed up to inspect one of the hives. Earlier in the week they split an overpopulated hive into two hives. When they were done they reversed the locations of the two hives so that field bees returning at the end of the day would populate the new hive in the old location and balance out the two hives populations. They came back today to see if the new hive had a queen in it. Despite getting out a magnifying glass they couldn't find her but there are a number of queen eggs, hopefully one will take up her crown. :)]