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Constellations Team Visits an Apiary

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“Honeybees have an unfailing clarity of purpose ... I’m jealous.
If only we could understand why it is that we’re here and what it is that we’re meant to spend our lives doing.”
- Roland, Constellations

Silas Weir Mitchell plays Roland, a bee keeper struggling to find his place in life, love and the cosmos. To research the ancient art of beekeeping, the cast and members of the Constellations creative team took advantage of some lovely spring-summer weather to visit a local apiary and learned about beekeeping from Tim Wessels of Bridgetown Bees. Cast member Silas Weir Mitchell plays Roland, a bee keeper struggling to find his place in life, love and the cosmos.

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Dana Green (left, Marianne in "Constellations") and Mary McDonald-Lewis (dialect coach) learn about beekeeping from Tim Wessels (back center) and Scott Sutton.
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Dana Green suited up for beekeeping.
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Silas Weir Mitchell inspecting a honey bee hive.
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Silas Weir Mitchell in his beekeeping suit.
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Director Chris Coleman in his beekeeping suit.
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Director Chris Coleman and Silas Weir Mitchell with a honey comb.
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About Bridgetown Bees

Bridgetown Bees was founded in 2012 by Glen Andresen and Tim Wessels, two beekeepers who live — and keep honey bees — in Northeast Portland, Oregon. The primary mission of Bridgetown Bees is to selectively breed and raise queen bees in the city of Portland that are suitable for year-round survival here and in other cities in the Pacific Northwest. To that end, the starting point is to use larvae from “mother colonies” of honey bees that have successfully overwintered in the city and have never been treated for mites, other pests, or diseases. In addition, we saturate as much as possible our breeding area of Northeast Portland with “father colonies” that have also over-wintered without treatment. Once (if?) over-wintering characteristics have been established, other factors, including honey production, gentleness, and low-swarming tendencies, will also be a part of the breeding program. If we are successful in our mission, these queens will be sold to city beekeepers. bridgetownbees.com

All photos by Kate Szrom.

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