Busy as a Bee

Today’s the first day of summer, and it’s actually a bit warm for a change.  We had no spring whatsoever, which I can’t ever remember happening before.  The good thing about it was that I didn’t feel guilty about not being out working in the yard and garden.  I hate being outside in inclement weather.

But today it’s sunny and looks like it’ll be very hot for the next while.  Lorraine, the bee keeper from the gym, came over as she wanted to check on my hive.  She has 11 hives, and said hers were filled with honey.  We walked down to the lower yard to have a look in the hive.  It turned out my lazy-assed bees haven’t made much honey, but Lorraine said just wait, they will.

Mojo decided to go right up to Lorraine, who was wearing a bee suit, and so the dog was immediately chased away by a group of bees and stung several times.  As I’m writing this she’s on the bed, under the covers.  She always does that when she’s not feeling well.

Luke and Michelle also came down to the bee hive with us, and watched Lorraine inspecting the bees.  Lorraine said the number of bees has doubled, so she said I have a good queen.  She pointed out the drones to Luke and explained that as they’re lazy, useless males, once they’re finished mating with the queen they’re killed by the other bees.

And did you know all of the bees are female, except for that very small number of drones?  So the term, busy as a bee, makes a lot of sense now, doesn’t it?  I find it remarkable how insects can be so much like humans.

After about ten days of nagging, I got three important things done.  Luke and Nicky installed a CD player in my car.  I’d gotten it for Christmas 18 months ago, and it’s been sitting in my closet ever since.  Then Nicky and Dan cleaned the sunroom roof, and finally Dan hung a bamboo shade over the dining room window.

I know I’ve nearly reached the limit of asking for jobs that need to be done. Nicky knows he has to help me tack the pheromone traps to the pine trees.  We’ve done that yearly since the outbreak of the pine beetle epidemic.  A couple of weeks ago I had someone from the City come and inspect my trees.  He said I don’t have any pine beetles, and lauded my use of pheromones.

However, these damned things are like $30 for a package of 2, and I need 30 packages, so figure it out. It’s a huge yearly expense, but compared to paying a tree company $600 per tree to have any removed is a lot more expensive than the pheromones.  Plus ponderosa pines are endangered, so I’m trying to preserve mine.

I’ve been invited to sell my wares at the Cherry Fair next month, being held at the Orchard Museum.  That should be a good venue for selling both fruitcake and chocolate bark, as both are made with cherries.  Now I’ll have to emulate my bees and get into work mode to prepare for the event as over 1,000 visitors are expected.

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