Folded and sewn by hand
Size: 8.5" tall by 4.25" wide
Ten Frames Full of Honey Bees: Elegy of a First-Year Hive is the title of this ten part poem. This was written in 2019, the year I brought my first package of honey bees home. While I've been an artist since I was a kid, the poetry came to me later, and I write it like a visual artist. You might think I write as though the words are the paint and how they are assembled is the artwork.
This poem is written in ten parts because there are ten frames per super (box) in my hive. While I counted the mites during and after treatment, the frames told a kind of archeological story on the sticky sheet under them. There were wars going on, and the queen was strong and lasted until the final and last day. The poem reflects on this colony and their hive for the duration of their time here.
The hive was thriving all spring and summer, until suddenly, the mites, the robbers, and the yellow jackets joined them—even though I treated for mites, and even though I put the robbing screens on. They were relentless. My story is a rerun of the experience of hundreds of other beekeepers these days. I loved my queen. She came with the package, and we put a yellow dot on her, so she'd be easy to find. She was hard to find anyway, but what a surprise when she was.
I took photos, using my phone camera pointed through the lenses of a microscope at different powers and settings. Mostly, these are photos of the wings, which are amazing to see microscopically.