Tag Archives: swarthmore

Bees on the roof

I used to keep bees in my youth, so was delighted to learn that my local grocery cooperative (Swarthmore Co-Op) has six hives on the roof. Today I finally got to visit them.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Honeybee hives on roof

Not exactly sure why there is no excluder, the screen that typically keeps the queen inside the deep bodies and out of the shallower supers.  But maybe the excluders are built into the internal frames somehow (I last kept hives in 1983, and things can change).

I like how all the hives are different colors, or at least different combinations of colors.  Bees are famously good at finding their way around, but still, might be good to make the visual cues clear about which hive is yours. I’m curious how the hives will tolerate the first 100 °F day.  Seems like a large sun screen would be really welcome.  My guess is that on hot days a good portion of the hive will be on cooling duty, and that lowers productivity.

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Sidewalk creeps

[PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT]  Last week, I witnessed a visually impaired man with a cane walk right into some overgrown hedges while he was heading into town.  Clearly surprised, he decided to cross the street before continuing on his way.  So I thought I’d post a plea for all of us who have sidewalks to please hack back any creeping shrubs, hostas, and dandelions so that our public walkways are fully walkable by all — not just for the visually impaired, but also for those with twin babies in double strollers, and for couples who just want to hold hands while walking next to each other. Currently, double-wide strollers and hand-holders need to walk in the street, which is crazy given that our town has fairly wide sidewalks.  A further benefit of keeping your plants out of the sidewalk airspace is that the foliage doesn’t provide the perfect lurking spot for deer ticks, questing for a host with their hungry little arthropod arms. Yea, that last reason is far-fetched, perhaps, but we have lots of deer and mice and dogs, so it’s just something to think about as you brush by the leaves.

Hedges partially obstructing a sidewalk.  Residents with double strollers, with vision impairment, and with wheelchairs cannot easily use sidewalks like this.  Also, couples who might want to take a walk while holding hands are forced to abandon their true love to navigate the stretch, which is sad. Finally, in areas with deer and mice, overhanging foliage provide the perfect questing site for ticks.

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Photographs of Countryside fire

From December 24th, 2011. I’d heard the sirens while I made coffee in the morning, but only looked out my window when the idling engine noise started to build (place is near my house).  Fire apparently started in a deep fryer as owners cooked turkeys for a homeless shelter.  Sad morning, and sad loss for Swarthmore.  We’ve had hundreds of meals there over the years.

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