We began our beekeeping activities by shunning Langstroth in favor of our horizontal top bar hives. Over the years we would cast interested glances at Slovenian AŽ hives or log hives or other uncommon designs. But never Langstroth. No, never1. Why then were there ten, recently assembled five-frame Langstroth nucs in our basement? And why are they now in our garage, waiting to be painted? And why also boxes of black plastic frames on which we are daubing more wax?

We very much hope that this post will not prove to be hubris but after ten years of fumbling at this we finally feel able to reliably get most if not all of our colonies through the winter. That suggests there shall be more splits to be made and swarms to be reclaimed. We can finally see ourselves someday reaching that stage of beekeeper development where we have acquired more colonies than we want to manage. The usual solution is to sell or donate the excess. That is easier, and more considerate of the recipient, with equipment that is compatible and familiar to mainstream beekeepers. And so we are preparing Langstroth nucs.

Once swarming and splitting time arrives and we make up for any losses of our own2, it seems not entirely unreasonable to hazard the notion that we may, perhaps, just possibly3 yet have surplus colonies. In that happy event we shall contact our local beekeeping club and see if they would care to accept them. We may request reimbursement for the cost of frames and woodware. Or not. This is not our livelihood. There are always members in need of bees and we would be happy to be in a position to provide. And quite pleased with ourselves if we could make it a regular thing while avoiding the outcome of the titular fable and continuing to shun Langstroth for our own hives.

Of, course with all this preparation we shall likely have no more colonies than we have now. See, we really are pessimists.


1Hardly ever. There is, of course, nae-sa-wee Angharad.
2Foreshadowing.
3Are we indicating uncertainty sufficiently?