A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I stopped by Soergel Orchards to check out the fall festivities. While picking our way through the mostly trampled sunflowers, he noticed a small bee nestled among a flower’s petals, sheltering itself from the wind. “Where do bees go in the winter?” he wondered, and I realized I had no idea. Today, thanks to the internet, I do! When the weather gets chillier, bees do what comes naturally to all of us in the winter- they stay inside and refuse to go out even when there’s something really cool happening, I don’t care if there’s a new restaurant you want to check out, I have Top Ramen here and I’m wearing sweatpants, thank you very much. Anyway, gathering in the center of the hive, our buzzy friends form what’s called a “winter cluster”, with the queen in the middle. This got me thinking…what other things do bees do in the winter than I’m also doing? Watch Sex and the City reruns? Listen to sad music? Drink Throat Coat tea? Read all those books they’ve been meaning to get around to? Yeah, it’s that one. I bet the following titles are on their reading lists:
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice; Or; On the Segregation of the Queen
By Laurie R. King
Mary Russell, an orphan living with her aunt, is only fifteen when she meets a semiretired beekeeper named Sherlock Holmes. Fascinated by Mary’s quick mind, the great detective becomes her mentor. Mary’s apprenticeship, limited at first to minor investigations, becomes increasingly significant until one day the duo find themselves the target of a deadly plot. Some strong language. 1994.
The Castle in the Forest
By Norman Mailer
A devil narrates the origin of Adolf Hitler’s family. Alois, a petty civil servant, marries his own illegitimate daughter, Klara, and with their son Adolf and other children, struggles to support the family by raising bees. Descriptions of sex and strong language. Bestseller. 2007.
By Laline Paull
Flora 717 emerges into the life of a hive situated in an orchard. She is tasked as a sanitation worker, but slowly works her way up the hierarchy until she has access to the Queen’s inner sanctum. However, Flora discovers secrets behind the Queen’s power and becomes a threat. 2014.