I know the exact moment when the germ of this new hobby of mine was planted in my pea brain.
I was shuttling into the city on BART about a decade ago, listening to some piece on NPR about an area in the south somewhere where they were recruiting people to become beekeepers.
"Learn how to keep bees! Help raise pollinators for local crops! Wear a hazmat looking outfit and freak out your neighbors!", they'd cried.
OK, so nothing about the hazmat suit specifically, but that did come to mind at the time, mostly because we had neighbors whose trash sort of required the wearing of a hazmat suit and I think I fantasized about the efficiency of having one on hand.
But the story was interesting and they had some colorful folks sharing their stories of interacting with bees in a keeping scenario and it was cool to hear about how local farmers would call them out to their fields with their boxes of bees to help pollinate their crops.
Neato. And, hey! I'm not even afraid of bees - so, no scary factor.
At the time though, that's about as far as my brain went with this faraway story of bees in boxes and people in hats with veils. And then it sat, this story, in the back of my mind gathering strength until a few months ago when I saw a post on the Love Apple Farm blog for a beekeeping class.
I am not even lying when I say that I signed up as soon as I read the post. In fact, I may not have even read the whole post. I think I just saw, "Class: Natural Bee-keeping" and scrolled down until I found a place to sign up. I thought I might have been the first to sign up, but I heard Cynthia say something to the effect of "Oh! You were our first sign up!" when checking in this First Signer Upper as I was wondering their gardens last weekend, so boo.
Thankfully I had these poppies to ogle, so I wasn't that sad.
She did, however, remember my name, but that could have been for any number of reasons that I assume had nothing to do with a thorough background check.
Let it never be said that I'm anything other than a self-involved child, obsessed with seeking the approval and recognition of those around me, OK.
So yeah, I took a beekeeping class. With the intention of keeping bees sometime in the near future. Of course, I come to find out in this class that starting a hive is something you do in the spring rather than in the dead heat of summer, but that's OK, I'll just have to do a shitload of research and ordering and perhaps helping of local beekeepers before I start a hive of my own and also stocking our house with EpiPens because you know that Bubba is allergic to bees.
Bless this man, he has always supported this idea of mine. To be a beekeeper. Granted, I've never said anything about doing it on any grand scale or making it my livelihood or tearing down his garage to set up rows of hives, but even from my way back days of sharing our "What if" jobs, he always said it was cool! you should do it.
He wasn't as wild about my desire to raise goats to rent out to people with grassy fire-loving fields, but that's because he hates goats more than he hates dying of anaphylactic shock, so nothing against me or my bizarre "What if" jobs, specifically, since he would have had the same reaction to me wanting to raise turkeys - another creature he hates at least as much as goats.
Maybe I should tell him I want a potbellied pig.
I have not entertained the idea of chickens, although I hear that's becoming a popular hobby as well. But I visited the chickens at Love Apple Farms - even bought some of their fabulous eggs - but I'm not having that brand of stinky in my yard and plus Jada would probably do in my flock before I got Egg 1. Plus, I am not really an egg person and Bubba would kill the Rooster the second he crowed before 6am, so meh.
WHATEVER I'M GOING TO KEEP BEES AND THAT IS THE POINT.
Those little white dots are bees going back to the hive. Like you couldn't have figured that out.
And the class was very well done, even to the point where I got to stand on the approach path to the hives and let the bees just land all over me while our instructor moved frames around in the hives with her bare hands.
Plus, I got to roam all around Love Apple Farms, which is glorious and interesting in its own right, and which made the event even more supah perfect. I basically dorked out on a lot of levels and took pictures of a lot of vegetables without anyone thinking (out loud anyway) what a freak I was because they were doing it, too.
Ah, the joy of being around people who are dorky in the same way that you are dorky - it's liberating really. Like not having to suck it in at a wedding because you decided to wear a maxi dress instead of that tight strapless thing so YAY you can eat dinner and then not look like you swallowed a watermelon.
This photo has nothing to do with looking like a whale at a wedding, but isn't it nice just the same?
So, now you know my "I'm taking up yet another new hobby" news and I can go back to weaving in the ends of Bubba's sweater.
Because it's done.
But we'll talk about that tomorrow or something.