Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Big and Final Update--March

March 11, 2015:

Friend Bill sent me this beautiful/sad/beautiful poem

The Bee
--Henri Cole
For Jamaica Kincaid
There’s a Bee
dying slowly
outside my

makes this awful
buzzing sound
which grows
longer as
the end nears,

I suppose.
The mysterious
process at work
within him/her
is disturbing,

like a warm
wet finger.
when you hear
a Bee,

the sound dissipates
as the Bee
flies away,
but this is just constant,
so constant I think,

Maybe this Bee
is stupidly in love
with me.
Or the buzzing
is inside

my head
and will become,
over time,
a friend—
a new kind

that doesn’t go away,
even after lots of sex—
my ear canal
growing receptive,
like a hard bud

to light,
or a vulva
to the perfect
Would we know

each other,
I wonder,
if our eyes met across
a crowded room?
I did not expect

to meet this Bee.
What else
could love be
but lots of buzzing—
or hate?

March 22, 2015:  Fairly certain my bees are dead.  There is zero sign of life at the hive.  My mentor Julien waded out in the snow and confirmed--it really seems dead.  Feeling sad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Big and Final Update--February

February 1, 2015:

Sophie sent me a Facebook Post:

February 2, 2015:

I just went out to clear our walkway, and while I was out I went and scooped of the bees' front porch as well (that was decidedly less strenuous).
I didn't see any bees--it's much too cold for them to leave their cluster right now--but I did see bee poop in the snow. And as I told Abby and Ken, where there's poop, there's life.

(The above photo is taken from this website for kids, which explains things about bees & poop!)

February 12, 2015:

Diane sent me a FB post about Saint Gobnait, the patron saint of beekeepers!

Saint Gobnait is the patroness of bees and bee keepers, and today, February 11, is her feast day!  She’s also known by a few other names; Saint Gobnata, Gobnet, Gobeneta, Mo Gobnat, Abigail, Deborah.

February 14, 2015:
Just reading about an Anglo-Saxon metrical charm intended to keep bees from swarming. You know, like you do on any Saturday night.
Settle down, victory-women,
never be wild and fly to the woods.
Be as mindful of my welfare,
as is each man of border and of home.

February 20, 2015:

Over the course of several weeks pretty much everyone I know sent me a link to a kickstarter for a couple of guys in Australia who have designed a hive that doesn't disturb the bees when you harvest the honey.  It looks fascinating, and like maybe a very good idea--but it's early stages, and the hives are very expensive.

February 24, 2015:

I just ordered another beehive kit, so my second hive's worth of bees will have somewhere to live. And doing this is making me feel like Spring is a real possibility.

February 26, 2015:

The hive kit came SO FAST!

February 27, 2015:

The last jar of the 2014 season.

February 28, 2015:

Bad News.  Ken and I struggled out to the hive today to check on the bees. The snow is still well up over my knees, so it was a long slow slog out there. And there was no sign of life once we got there. No trails of bee scat, no hum in the hive, nothing. I cracked open the top and listened, but nothing.
Who knows, perhaps they're fine, and the next *really* warm day they'll be in evidence. At the moment my only consolation is that I ordered another nucleus colony, which will arrive this spring.

The Big and Final Update--January

January 3, 2015:

I know of no better reading than the 2015 BetterBee Product Catalog.

Jonathan sent me a vintage photo:

Bill sent me "Day of the Death Drones!"

January 14, 2015:  I'm still reading Betterbee.  It was a VERY cold winter; it was good to dream of bees.

January 22, 2015:

Marcia sent me a post about a dog in Australia who can smell American Foulbrood Disease:

A beekeeper from Tintinara in South Australia created the incredible suit for Bazz, the black Labrador trained to detect by smell a killer bee disease called American foulbrood. But his master has been forced to design him his own beekeepers suit after the pooch kept getting stung.