Louisville Magazine

JUN 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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laslou.org LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 6.19 51 The Hives of Cave Hill Beekeeping becomes a grave matter. By Dylon Jones Photos by Mickie Winters THE BIT SHIFT We're going to see swarms today, no question about it. e conditions are ripe: It's mid-April and sunlight wash- es through the trees of Cave Hill Cemetery in a green mist, maintaining a steady 73 degrees. Rodolfo Bernal walks around his maroon Ford pickup, which sports an old Obama bumper sticker and another that says "Topless Mountains Are Obscene," and stands close, within three inches of my person, like he's about to share a secret. ere's no time to waste on small talk. "I'm trying to get Cave Hill to under- stand the whole cycle of beekeeping," he says. He guides me toward a tree and points upward at a box, wooden by the look of it, strapped to a branch maybe 10 or 15 feet in the air. "is is a swarm box," he says. Around this time of year, bees fill their hives with so much honey they crowd themselves out, and a process called swarming begins. e queen leads part of the hive out on a colonial conquest for a new home, leaving behind a new ruler. "And in the city, they will look either for trees that have a cavity, or they will look for a building to go in," Bernal says. "at's where problems happen for people." His swarm box, one of several he has rigged up around Cave Hill, is meant to prevent that. He says he once kept a swarm box near the grave of Muhammad Ali, which seemed entirely appropriate to him, though the cemetery did not quite agree that the metaphor trumped the safety

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