This week was wild. Too much to detail at length, so I’ll leave you with a brief overview: got over my cold, had the greenhouses disassembled and hauled-off, completed bee school (where I learned a wealth of apiary knowledge), had my honey serve me up an incredible Valentine’s Indian dinner (as well as festoon me with an adorable dress and coat, amazing tights, woodcut birch earrings, and locally made all-natural chocolates), went to a cupcake and craft lab promoting the release of Suzie Millions new book at Lark Books (my publisher!), ate Jamaican food out with friends, and finished up several sections of the Canning & Preserving book. I think Bucky would approve of my systems approach to socializing, learning, and working.
I caught a cold. First one in years. Perhaps that’s on account of my being away from people now more than ever as I work on my books and my recent bee-keeping foray brought me into close contact with some nasties. I don’t know. I just know that I don’t take getting sick sitting down and, packed with an herbal arsenal, hot baths, and loads of tea, I’m beginning to feel back up to snuff.
So, I started bee-keeping school yesterday. We had another session today and will meet again next Saturday and Sunday. It’s fascinating, although still a bit overwhelming. The fellow above was holding a handful of dead bees for identification, but I guess that goes without saying…
What a bee wants, what a bee needs-bee accoutrements for keeping the hive abuzz, including a spray bottle of sugar water, a hive tool for prying apart the frames inside the hive (to remove honey, as well as check on the general health of the hive-I’m learning that things can change in there pretty quickly, so it’s important to stay on top of things), and other assorted and sundry apiary things.
These are burlap sacks a local coffee roaster generously donated. Apparently, the burlap smokes well inside the bee smoker, creating the highly desirable “cool smoke” which calms the hive. A bit of smoke causes the bees to become alert, worried there may be an impending forest fire, which would then cause them to flee, or in bee nomenclature “abscond”, from the hive. This alertness is desirable because it also temporarily impairs their chemical messengers, or pheromones, which would otherwise tell them there was an intruder in the hive and to attack (so, so, so not what you want to happen!).
My trusty gal-pal Rachel (whom I refer to as “Ladypants” and who, in turn, refers to me as “Ladypants”) doing her very best “Vanna White, in the bee yard, with the smoker” act. Well done, Ladypants, well done. More to come next week!
As a nod to bee-keeping school, which starts this coming Saturday, I thought I might share with you a homemade honey bodycare product I recently whipped up. I read somewhere that Catherine Zeta-Jones keeps her skin so supple and plump-looking by slathering it in a honey and sea salt mixture. I figure, if it’s good enough for CZ-J, it’s good enough for me. Enjoy, and stay moist!