|Bridget is a good beekeeper.|
So call me a harridan, but I was just a little cranky at the suggestion that we should keep bees.
Honestly? We need to mow. We need to battle poke weeds the size of young trees. Brambles, virginia creeper, crabgrass, poison ivy — we got ’em, and we should acknowledge their mastery over us, not think of new ways to get distracted from our bondage.
Take grape vines. Please. When we arrived — unsuspecting, raw converts from the close suburbs who couldn’t make the grass grow there, either — we became proud owners of a little grape arbor. A decade later and there are vines growing in the windows à la Walker Percy, a sure harbinger of the end of civilization, all because we didn’t know, that first year, of the imperative, ultimate, consuming, and extreme need to mow, and to keep at the mowing, never giving an inch! Yes, we hadn’t gotten our mowing concentration up to speed yet, and we’ll pay for it for ever.
The Chief doesn’t like me to say that we are challenged, keeping up with it all. I appreciate having such a lovely property, but I don’t feel worthy of it.
I’m a worrier, and I worry that we are letting it down, even though we do a lot and have certainly made great strides in its upkeep. The house is painted, it has a new roof, we have cleared out a major part of the brush. And lots of other good, really expensive things.
But I feel it judging me. I feel the Tree Guy judging me (you know, the one who characterized my lawn as “a New England farm house yard.” Thanks, Tree Guy. I see what you’re getting at).
|Phil is a good beekeeper — and note the duct tape. What a guy!|
I don’t know what to do about all the things that have to be done. I would rather read a book. And I think he would too. My husband, not the Tree Guy. Who, frankly, seemed himself to be overwhelmed enough not to even suggest a plan to make money off of us. I think he knew that taking down the tree was all the water he’d get from this particular stone.
But it just seemed to me, and I still think this is reasonable, when the beekeeping topic arose, that we should concentrate on getting things under control — things that we were already doing, responsibilities that we already had, two acres and 5600 square feet of ancient plaster — before adding an intensive hobby.
I guess that alone does make me cranky, unless you also consider that I thought that we couldn’t afford to launch into a new venture that costs a few hundred dollars to get into, even with the bunch of beekeeping supplies I found at — and, against my own interests, brought home from — a yard sale.
They were free, so even I couldn’t resist. I didn’t know then that you aren’t supposed to re-use hive bodies and supers, on account of the risk of infection. However, as the state bee inspector (yes, there is such a person! He’s super nice! And don’t tell him I said so, but…he looks like a bee!!) agreed, the things had been unused long enough to pose not much risk, and besides, we had already deployed them. (You will note some mismatched boxes when you look at our pictures, and that is why. Some are new and some are old. But free.)
But bees — they were a dream to him. He would never reproach me. He is all serenity, unless his wife is worrying.
This is all an interior dialogue of my very own making.
And when he did gently push against mean old nay-saying me, I became aware that beekeeping just doesn’t take a whole lot of time. You don’t spend days in heavy labor, as with gardening. There’s no back-breaking work, unless it’s the kind you want, because it means many pounds of honey!
You set them up and they do their thing. You could even do some weeding while they go about their business. Heck, they even thrive on weeds!
And then, if you are lucky and patient, you reap the reward.
|Yes, he was right. I’m sorry I’m mean.|
So it’s okay. It’s better to do what you love than to worry about things not being perfect. If we are swallowed alive by Concord grapevines, at least we will go happy.
|In the garage, covering up the frames until we could extract, which you can read about in the Honey Harvest post.|