Monday, April 11, 2011

The birds and the bees

There's never a dull moment on the farm. After getting home from the Melrose paintout, I put my art supplies away, slammed the RV door, and walked a little bit away. Then I noticed a bunch of bees near the front corner. A few bees soon became many, then a swarm started! I called my beekeeping friends and they came over, but by that time, the swarm had entered the sagging framework of my poor dilapidated RV studio. My friends Margie and Sissy (two true farm girls) tried a few tricks with honey hoping to coax them out, but no. The bees had already decided this would make a great place for a hive. I, on the other hand, did not see it that way. Bees were making their way INSIDE the RV and bumping up against the windows. I wanted to cry. I had just been getting all the art juices flowing again at the paintout, only to come home to a studio I couldn't use.

A week has passed. Margie and Sissy came again yesterday with Sissy's husband Steve, and a big, white bee suit. Steve, an engineer by profession, got out a screwdriver and began to disassemble the front of the RV in hopes of getting to the hive without much damage to either the bees or my studio. I stood by (not too close) watching, hoping this would be the answer. The more Steve opened up, the more the RV crumbled. We all agreed the RV would not survive if he dug much deeper, and yes, the bees could be heard buzzing much deeper.

Margie, in her farm woman wisdom, said, "Well, you could always leave them in there and tear it apart in a year and at least you would have the honey."

I thought it over. Maybe. "How much honey could they make?"

Margie assured me it could be hundreds of pounds. The trade off sounded better. Bill also assured me that we could build a new studio. A new studio sounded good.

This morning, at breakfast, as we were drizzling honey on our grits, Bill and I contemplated the future of our honey house. We also realized that last year we didn't see many birds on our property. This year, after a whole winter of moving chickens on the pasture, we have wildflowers coming up all over, we see song birds flitting from tree to tree, and we have a buzzing hive of new residents who must have thought this was a fruitful place to set up a new home.