Beekeeping began in antiquity — even the Egyptians were known to keep hives and harvest honey.

While we all think of honey when we think of bees, these insects are also important to farming and the fertilization and growth of plants everywhere. Today, beekeepers will load their hives onto trucks to visit farms and groves that, without bees, would not prosper and grow.

Joyce Maher and her husband, Kevin, discovered beekeeping recently, and in just a few months have built one very active hive in the Witchcraft Heights neighborhood. Recently, some of these bees left (swarmed) with the queen, leaving the rest behind. The bees left behind then made a new queen for the hive. On this visit, Joyce was opening the hive in search of the new queen.

With regard to beekeeping, Joyce writes: “I hope [the gallery] encourages more people to beekeep since we are in a honeybee crisis. It is pretty bad that people have to gather up hundreds of hives drive to almond country to pollinate the trees there — also up in Maine for blueberry season.”

For more information about beekeeping in the Massachusetts area, and how you can become a beekeeper, visit