The easiest route to the hives is down the old access road, but I prefer to hike in from the pine grove. The distance is the same, but wending through the towering cedar boles and shadows is cooler.
Already at its zenith, the summer sun is beating down on the field. The air, thick with dust, is hot and sticky. No bees will be out in this heat. As I reach the colony, I can feel the thrumming of the bees’ as much as I can hear it.
My blood, as viscous as the amber nectar stewing in the combs, seeps slowly through my veins, pulling me down to the earth, closer to Her heartbeat. At the edge of the copse, under the meager pine shade, I stand still, letting my labored breathing calm.
I am getting too old for this work, and I worry what will become of my hives. The enveloping warmth, and the hum of bees’ song, makes me drowsy. I long to lie down in the cool, tall grass, and to finally sleep in peace and quiet.