It’s been a while since we’ve given you an update on the bees. When last we checked in, we sadly discovered that one hive had starved to death. Now, as things have finally started thawing out in our little hamlet near the Hudson River, our worst fears of been realized. None of our hives survived the winter! The remaining two hives had plenty of honey, but they obviously couldn’t get to it. They most likely were huddled together for warmth, unable to dig into their reserve stock in the layer above. It’s so sad, especially now as the first bulbs we planted are starting to sprout. One theory on our failure is that we had tried to start our hives with Italian bees (the American honeybee no longer exists — all honeybees here are now bred from foreign lines). We have heard they are not very hearty for cold climates. Perhaps next year we’ll try Russian bees? — Angela M.