Tis the Night Before Christmas


Tis the dight before Christmas (or is it the ‘eve’?

What’s politc’ly correct? Don’t know what to believe.) 

Tis the EVE before Christmas and all through the yard

The bees are at rest after working so hard.

The workers are clustered, the queen in their midst;

The drones are departed (I bet they were p….d.)

The honey is stored, egg-laying’s on hold;

Tis only the ‘keeper whose out in the cold …

Well, she and some mice, who are very frustrated

Though feelings of mice are much overrated.


It’s been a hard year - covid and all -

hand washing and masks,  and missing y’all

At our November meeting, the state of the bees, 

Visiting speakers and desperate pleas

For help at the Fair,  for talks to some classes, 

For demos of hives to young lads and their lasses …

(Not wanting to raise the ire  of the masses

I had to avoid a word rhymed with grasses.)


Socially distancing?  Not for the girls 

Who live tight in the hives with the queen amidst whirls

Of  aromas and resin, nectar and honey,

Clustered up tight, prudent and chummy;

Pollen and brood, sweet scented propolis 

All that I know of the winterized hive is …

…leave them alone, trust in the bees

They’ve known how to survive over millions of years.

Not only survive, but so I have heard, 

They do it so gently not a leaf is disturbed.


Through the winter we sit, our hearts in our mouths,

Are the bees still OK or will they go south?

Do they have enough food?  Will they survive?

Can they keep all that snow from colding the hive?

Oh what I would give for a quick cleansing flight

Just to have a few ladies back in my sight

And know they are safely back in their home

With their bowels all clean … but enough of this tome.


It’s OK to worry, it’s OK to moan

When your hands are frigid and you’re chilled to the bone.

It’s time for some dreams of two twenty one

Of covid-19 all over and done;

Of beekeeper meets,  of friendship, and plenty

Of girls in the hives, of warmth of the sun,

Of hive tools  and smokers and oodles of fun…


Enough of  this pretentious and  pompous mailing, 

Sent with warm wishes and none of the wailing;

But a tip of the veil to all in the country -

Beekeeping friends who share in the bounty

Of fellowship, caring  and mutual affection 

For the bees in our lives, our shared attraction. 


Before I conclude this festive-time letter

Let me remind you next year will be better!

A wing and a prayer and plenty of trust –

That’s all that is left so finally I must

Get under the blankets and turn out the light –

MERRY  Christmas  to  all  and  to  each  a  good night. 


Apis m shakesbeere


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Latest comments

27.11 | 16:01

Moustache, wax? Of course. Now if all of the drones had mustaches ...

27.11 | 12:43

One of our club members says he got into beekeeping in order to make his own mustache wax. There's the explanation for the bearded/mustached ABF attendees!

13.08 | 05:43

Good morning Mr. Barnes, I'm so pleased to see the best of history teachers is still going strong! Looking at your website brings back some great memories

21.05 | 07:18

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