Tuesday, May 15, 2007

[Hannah]: Save the Bees!

My dad and I used to keep bees and I have very tender feelings for them. They're just so good at what they do. We had four hives. Each hive was filled with big sheets of wax, like it was a wax filing cabinet. Since the sheets were just the right distance apart from each other, the bees got happy and they build combs off the wax base we provided to them. In the bottom "drawer" of the filing cabinet their queen would lay eggs, and in the top "drawer" they'd store their honey. They almost never got mixed up about what was supposed to go where - it was just how they liked to do it.

Throughout the summer, we'd keep a big puddle in our driveway filled with water so that if they were thirsty they wouldn't have to go far to drink. Their honey was like nothing I'd ever tasted - a Suburban Back Yard concoction that was actually divine.

Our bees all got wiped out one winter and we weren't exactly sure why, and we never started again. We might have made it another few years, but it felt like a huge responsibility to care for the bees even if they didn't need much. There were just so *many* of them. Thousands! And they couldn't ever tell us what they needed.

You should have seen the look on the face of the post office worker when the bees came in the mail. Bees do not really like going through the mail, and the mail does not like bees. We had to come pick them up at the post office - thousands of them in a little box...

Interesting to note that honey bees are not native to North America - they are European imports. Does their fragility in this ecosystem also have something to do with their foreign ancestry?


At 7:17 PM, Anonymous sylvia said...

Fascinating! What an interesting thing to learn as a kid. It does sound like a very big responsibility. When I was in high school our next door neighbors kept bees. The bees were always in our yard and our neighbors gave us honey every year for "feeding" their bees. It was fantastic.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger pixie said...

very lucky childhood!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Find me on Google+