What is with the title, We Will Only Know Summer?

Since I began introducing people to Bee Lives: We Will Only Know Summer I get people asking me why I decided to go with the title I did.  As a beekeeper, I am a little more familiar with the hardships that bees are going through today, at least in the North East where I live.  During the harvest seasons for bees, so spring through fall, they typically work themselves to death with adult lives lasting only around 30 days.  Summer in south eastern Pennsylvania tends to be one of the toughest times for bees out of this period.  During summer, a phenomenon known as a dearth tends to occur.  A dearth is when there are very few flowering plants around that provide nectar for the bees to harvest and turn into honey.  As a result, bees need to resort to subsisting on the stores of honey they were able to collect in the spring, what little they can find in the wild, and what they can rob from their ill protected neighbors.  It’s tough out there for a bee, particularly in summer, and I felt this was best reflected by acknowledging it in the title for those bees whose short lives will only know summer.

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