Friday, November 24, 2006
Bees at Thanksgiving
My daily family life is usually made up of Sam, my bees, my pets, and a beekeeper or two. This Thanksgiving, however, our table was set for 16! Yet another reason for thanks: we did it potluck style. And the third reason: people did not want to head home the next day before visiting with the girls.
Usually, no one under the age of 10 is allowed on the roof, mostly because I am too distracted by the bees to keep toddlers from toppling off the edge. Since all the parents were just as interested as the kids this time, solemn oaths were performed concerning child retention and my inability to cope with the guilt of any untimely demise(s), and the parents looked after their kids when we tromped up the spiral staircase. This picture shows pre-bee family. Up front, in a spare veil, is Duncan, to his left is Uncle Joe, and behind are the female cousins (for now).
Now you see us all gathered around a honey frame I took from Wilde in order to show everyone where the sweet stuff really comes from. Interestingly, you can see that the only young one who is in danger of falling off the edge is my husband. My cousin Anna took these pictures.
It was hard to actually show them bees, because the day was too cold for them to fly in any numbers. Happily, when I popped the top, the bees were down low in the hive (where they are supposed to be at this time of year). If they are up top, it's a sign that they are low on stores, and have already tapped into the stuff that they placed farthest from their starting point in the bottom box.
Both of my cousins, Maria (shown here) and Anna (taking the picture) are teachers, and they immediately expressed interest in the bees as a learning tool for kids (I guess it's genetic for us to immediately decide "the kids gotta hear about this!") As I went back to put away the honey frame, Maria came along to take a peek. Note the lack of veil, fear, gloves, etc. She even leaned over and took a good long sniff of wonderful bee essence. One of my favorite things, and something missed in winter, is the warm sweet cloud of scent that wafts up whenever you open a beehive. Now she knows what I mean, too.