2022 Aug 26 – Block Island Bumbles

We made a visit to Block Island, Rhode Island in July, and I’ve been meaning to post these pictures. My grandfather kept honey bees on Block Island while I was growing up. He won the RI State Fair a few times (at least he said he did), so his honey was one of the best. Block Island is about 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, so there is hardly any insect migration from the mainland, and about a third of island is conserved so there are great floral resources for bees.

I was disappointed to learn a few years ago that my grandfather let his bees die off every winter. I met a beekeeper at EAS a few weeks ago who explained that it just made economic sense. In colder areas bees would need 100 pounds of honey to survive the winter, and with spring packages of bees so cheap (a few dollars back then) it was just simpler to harvest all the honey and start over in the spring. Still a bit sad, though.

What struck me about these pictures is that the island is too far for bumble bees to fly from the mainland, as bumble bees only fly a few miles from their nest. So there must be a thriving population of bumble bees on the island to come back year after year. Kind of cool.

May you prosper and find honey.

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