Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park Brown County 4-H kicks off another year Eastern Middle School celebrates “Kindness Week” Billie L Shoemaker

A close eye on the third hive

It is early evening, but the laundry is not quite dry on the line, so I decide to go out to the bee yard, just for a visit.

I am feeling lazy. It has been a long farm day, so rather than stroll slowly down the back of the row of hives, and visit briefly with each, I decide to take out my folding chair and sit beside Hive Number Three, a particularly active bunch of sister bees who look as though they have a bee super highway leading right to their front porch.

I open my chair and set it in the grass just to the side of the hive. I sit down and see that my toes are right in line with the front of the hive. Perfect.

I settle into my chair listening to the call of countless creek birds up on the hill behind me. Their warbles, chirps and tweets combine into a beautiful evening song.

And it is a beautiful evening.

The low branches of a mulberry tree bend down over my head and fall as a canopy before me. The fruit is long gone, but against the backdrop of the sky, the oval-pointed leaves look translucent, and through the leaves I can see patches of bright blue sky on the far side of the creek. The sky seems to be such a bright blue that I imagine it has been washed clean by the billowing white clouds that sail slowly across it. But I am here to visit the bees.

I look down to the landing board just to my left. It is perhaps 12 inches from my feet. I lean forward for a better look at the returning sisters, all daughters of the laying queen deep inside the hive. I know that I am safe off to the side of the hive. The returning bees are all flying home along a straight flight path, not deviating from their aerial runway that only they can see. When I look out across the field, I can see them 20 feet out and perhaps 10 feet high, turning to their left or right, so they can follow the flight path home.

A line of guard bees greet the returning bees just inside the hive entrance. No bees are leaving the hive to forage this late in the day. The guards briefly touch every returning bee before she is allowed to pass through. Only their sisters may enter.

I watch as another line of bees starts to form just in front of the guards. These bees face backwards and start to fan their wings. They are sending the hive’s scent out into the evening air, signaling their sisters that it is time to return home, the day’s work done.

I try to count the returning bees, but it is an impossible task. It seems as though 10 bees are returning every second, and I wonder how they could all possibly fit inside the hive, but I know that at this time of year there are quite likely 60,000 of the diminutive creatures who all consider that this particular stack of boxes in my bee yard is their home.

I look down the row of hives that lines the upper edge of our upper field. Every hive has a similar highway of returning bees.

I lean forward and peer closer at Number Three. There is a commotion going on at the entrance. Several guards are riding on the back of a drone, one of their brothers, and forcing him to leave. He was likely trying to return home after a day of hanging out on a drone congregation area, waiting for a newly hatched queen to pass by on her maiden flight, but somehow Hive Number Three has decided that their brother drones are no longer needed.

Usually, I do not see such sibling drama until later in the summer, and the solstice was only one week ago, but the guards at Three are quite adamant, and finally the drone turns and takes off from the landing board. He is the only bee flying out along the highway as his countless sisters return.

Then I notice that there is a chill in the air. There are only a few bees returning to the hive, and the backwards fanning bees have returned inside. The upper field is completely in shadow now, and I figure that my laundry has gotten as dry as it is going to get.

So, I fold up my chair, bid my bees good day, and return to the cabin, on my way running my hand along the line of laundry. Yes! It is dry. Now it is time to fold the laundry, cook up some dinner, and follow the lead of my bees, the day’s work done.

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