This demo at Bee Field Day was on installing a mail-order package of bees. Imagine the post office’s pleasure when receiving your buzzing box of 12,000 bees.
Here’s the interior of a 10-frame hive.
Edd Buchanan, beekeeper extraordinaire, instructs a young assistant in removing the queen package from the box.
The intrepid bee-gal places the queen box inside the frames, after opening the candy plug that keeps her isolated.
Finally, after a thorough smoking, Edd and his trusty gal-pal released the entire package. As I wasn’t wearing bee-appropriate clothing, I hung way back on the edge of the crowd. I have never seen so many bees buzzing overhead in my life. After getting their bearings, and picking up on the scent of the queen and other bees in the hive, they eventually flew into the hive. I’m so excited to learn more about the inner world of bees and bee-keeping! I’ve begun the process of selecting my equipment and its inhabitants. I’ll let you know when my new friends arrive!
I spent a few hours this weekend at a nearby 4-H Club Western North Carolina Bee Field Day. I won’t complain about the fact that I was one of maybe only four folks crowding the field that didn’t wear white (clad in my standard dark-colored garb, I was essentially the pinnacle of all that is visually threatening to bees). Why mention of donning bee-appropriate clothing wasn’t stressed in the e-mail about the event, I don’t know. Why I neglected to consider this necessary step in advance myself, I don’t know. So, suffice to say, I got close, just not too close.
Wild times got underway with a smoker lighting contest.
Here’s the rowdy line-up.
Contestants had to have their smokers lit in advance, then pick them up, puff them three times, and place them back on the ground. Winners, and losers, were judged according to how well their smokers puffed and the longevity of the smoke. I was actually grinning like a mad woman the entire time. I don’t know why (I seemed to have been plagued with an overarching lack of knowledge that day), I just was. More bee escapades to come…
A few remaining images from last week’s photo shoot for the “Canning & Preserving” book. The fig & thyme jam snuggled up in this phyllo-wrapped baked brie had everyone’s mouths watering, and Jenny, the photographer’s assistant, scheming of grabbing it and running off down the street, with crumbs and gooey cheese and jam smeared all over her face.
The rhubarb on the right was from a farm in nearby Burnsville, N.C.. The stalks on the left were just-picked from Chris’s yard (Chris is the Art Director at Lark books, and the owner, along with his partner Skip, of the home where the photos were taken). After misting the rhubarb, Nicole, my editor, said it was christened with “garden sweat.” I choose the euphemism “morning dew” instead. Take yer pick.
Chris torched a glaze over a game hen to make it a bit more crispy. You’ll find this little bird (Chris kept calling it “Max Headroom”) alongside the recipe for Winter Squash Chutney in the book.
Finally, Nicole juxtaposes the runnyness of liquid pectin versus the powder of dry. We had a blast. One more photo shoot to go on this book, then we’ll take a breather before heading on to bee photos. And speaking of bees, I attended a bee club field day this weekend at the 4-H club. Photos and anecdotes forthcoming.
Here are a few candid camera shots from Tuesday’s photo shoot for the “Canning & Preserving” book in the “Homemade Living” series. As predicted, Ned kept us all in line.
Artful and expert sandwich arranging (this one was for Cranberry, Rosemary, & Juniper Relish).
It was necessary to raise the roof to get the light just so.
The money shot.
Are you licking the screen yet? This shot was for Blood Orange & Port Sauce. YUM! More to come on Thursday!