"Beekeepers harvesting honeycomb near Fair Haven, Vermont. 2009" © Seth Butler


Tristan Winpenny (left) of Pawlet, VT uses a bee smoker to calm a hive of honey bees while he works with the bee keepers of Old Mill Apiaries to harvest honeycomb which will later be extract into raw honey. These particular hives are destined to be shipped to Georgia in the Fall, then across country to California for the Winter season, before they will make a return voyage by tractor-trailer truck to Vermont in Spring. The bee hives will be rented out to farms in California's Central Valley where local apiaries (bee colonies) continue to suffer from a dramatic and yet unexplained die-off in bee populations known as Colony Collapse Disorder. The Honey Bee is the official Vermont State Insect and is not only responsible for producing thousands of gallons of honey each year but is also a vital source of pollination to most flowering plants and agricultural crops.