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A Harvest Worth Buzzing About

Artist: Holli Yoho

Having dedicated more than two decades tending hives, Missy Hardy is a veritable encyclopedia on beekeeping. Not only does she possess the knowledge and tools to enlighten others on the wonders of bees, she also has an infectious enthusiasm that spreads to everyone who is lucky enough to learn from her.

Our brokerage had the unique privilege of being involved in Missy’s annual honey harvest in mid-September and we’ve been buzzing about it ever since. She graciously welcomed us to her home and taught us about the importance of bees in the global ecosystem and the fragile intricacies of their existence.

We watched intently as Missy and her young assistant, both decked out in beekeeper’s suits, smoked the hive to calm the bees. She described the flight patterns, specialized jobs, and complex biology of these amazing little insects as she worked to separate the sticky frames within the wooden box. We were enthralled as she pulled out the first of two frames covered in fuzzy bees and glistening with honey.

The process of extracting the honey took only a few hours but the work that went into the harvest was exponentially greater. This particular hive was started last spring, after losing her previous hive over the winter. For more than five months these hardworking bees (she estimates there are between 15,000 and 20,000) have been laboring nonstop to collect pollen, build their hive, and fill it with honey.

And, in the natural cycle of the seasons, it was time to collect. We all took turns cutting the wax away from the frame to free the honey within. We cranked the handle on the extractor and watched as the gooey-goodness worked its way slowly through the sieve then cheered as the bottles were filled at the end of the day.

The parallels between the busy hive and our brokerage were plentiful and we felt a real kinship with the fascinating little creatures. Like us, the bees each have specialized jobs. Their work is cyclical and they proactively prepare for the next season. The bees are entirely focused on contributing to the wellbeing of the hive–an attribute we try to emulate in our work within our community everyday. We left Missy’s home feeling inspired by the industriousness of the bees and the gratitude we have for our own “hive”.

Niche Homes Landscapes aims to extend your story of home by designing landscapes you love. Applying regional expertise, we will consider your lifestyle and tastes to design plant-driven outdoor spaces that thrive.

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