Monday, October 30, 2006

Last Presentation of the Year

local beekeeping calendarHere's a confession: this is a "pre-dated" post: as we are coming into the cold days, I seem to be slowing down, too (this post seems to be all up in my head, sorry). But here's a late update on our last presentation of the year out at the historic mill.

On this Sunday, the folks at the Mill asked us to participate in a day of activities at the mill, where residents of that suburban county were invited to stop by and take a look at the visiting blacksmith, to tour the mill itself (which needs repair after awful floods this Spring), to talk to we-the-beekeepers, and to sample some corn bread made with grain ground at the mill and topped with the girls' honey.

Apparently, the bees are still a kind of magic draw. Fifteen minutes ahead of time, the staff said that folks were up at the general store, asking where the bees might be. We probably had 75 people move through (or so the site manager said), more than usual for an autumn event. There's so much to do around here at this time of year, it's hard to get on family schedules.

MaryEllen made a brilliant display of hive products, an observation hive, and pieces of hive equipment, once again doing all of the heavy lifting. I supplied the handout above (you can click on the picture to download a full sized copy). The mill staff had apparently not really seen us in action before, and were pretty impressed. I think we may have made a couple of beekeepers, or at least friends of bees, and it was a good way to close the outreach year.

All around the mill, signs of the holidays ahead were beginning to creep in. A professional photographer was setting up on the grounds, and we wondered why, until family after family in "weekend best" arrived and began posing for their 2006 holiday greeting cards. It is a beautiful site. Inside, every once in a while the bees would go all buzzy in the observation colony, and we got to wondering whether there was some sound, vibration, or puff of smoke from the blacksmith working just outside that they could sense and we could not.

We were on from 2 to 4, and after two hours of talking we closed up and put away as the day got dark so soon. The leaves were still on the trees, but they were heading for sundown, too.

We both agreed that a load lifted off of our minds, with no more presentations ahead until next April at the earliest, and with almost everything we could do for the bees already in the past. I still want to shake some confectioners' sugar on those mite-infested mill yard bees, but have a nagging sense that my cards really have been played.

It's just sundown around here folks, a time to sort through what you think of what's just passed, and decide what to do with the quiet.

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