It seems that our bee hive got hit by the mysterious disease called Colony Collapse Disorder
that is sweeping the country recently and killing tens of millions of bees. Twenty-four states have reported bee apiaries being effected by an unknown plague that wipes out entire bee colonies at a time. What is unusual is that beehives affected by the disease are being found empty since the bees fly away to die, which is unlike their normal behavior. The day after we read about this disease in the San Francisco Chronicle
, we went out to check on our bees and discovered they had all disappeared. Our beekeeper says it's possible they ran out of room in the hive so they swarmed and flew away to find another home, but we think that we or the neighbors would have noticed 30,000 bees taking flight at once.
We were fortunate to get our bees replaced by those of a friend, so we were only without our local pollinators for about two weeks. Our new colony arrived in time to start pollinating our plum trees at the time of their full bloom. This time the hive is just over the fence in our eager neighbor's yard so little Madeleine won't incur the bees' wrath by sticking her curious hands in the entrance to their hive.