Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm either The Stig, the comic book alien from Back to the Future, a Beastie Boy or a beekeeper. You decide.

I'm sorry. Did I not tell you I'm getting bees?

I could have sworn I'd told you.

Well, I guess that's what happens when you get all nuts about taking a beekeeping class, thinking you'll be able to immediately apply your knowledge to a hive of your very own only to realize during the class that, oh, midsummer isn't the best time to go about installing your new hive.

Unless you want to capture a swarm. Which I did not.

No, I'm going to go the old-fashioned (read: scaredy-cat, by-the-book) route and set up my hive in the winter and order a package of bees to arrive in spring.

That way, I can be a total A/R psycho about setting up the hive just right and painting it just right and then staring at it just right so that when the bees show up and scare the ever-loving crap out of the folks at the post office (who totally deserve it for their behavior last time I was in there), I'll have envisioned their homecoming so many times that I won't forget any important part of the process like, you know, loading Bubba up with a hundred epi pens before their arrival.

Because, yes, Bubba is allergic to bees. And, yes, as a doting and devoted wife, I'm treating him to a truckload of epi pens and then, later, a private honey-dipped show about which I shall spare you the details.

Sure, my MiL would prefer I just forgo the idea of keeping bees within 1,000 yards of her son, but if he's going to be all, "Whatever, babe - I'll be fine - I'll just take pictures of you from inside the house where I'll be wearing your bee suit. Go for it! This is going to be awesome!", then I'm not going to be the one to ruin his good and misplaced fun.

I love that Bubba is the perfect blend of reckless, supportive and adventurous. It makes for some entertaining times at our house which, HEY!, don't always include bleeding or tetanus shots. And, if we do this right, also won't involve a call to 911 that includes the words "swelling" or "can't breathe".

Though, from my recent experience checking on active hives, I sort of doubt he'll have any issues. See, we have hives at work and since I'm really working hard on my Bee Nerd To The Stars reputation, I have volunteered to do hive checks and not during any one of these checks has anyone gotten stung. Nor has anyone who's wandered past the hives or been within any distance of the hives been stung. And even though I have a full suit and should be wearing it at least for the fashion statement, I don't, so it's not like I'm out there in a hermetically sealed polyester suit of armor fending off the pointy advances of buzzing bees.

Statement being: "Take me to your leader."

See, these suits are muther effing hot. In the temperature sense. And even though it's barely summer around here, putting on a full poly suit over my work clothes to go lift heavy (with honey!!) supers off the hives and check all those frames is really sweaty.

So instead, I put on my jacket/veil combo and go around looking only like half a nerd.

The nerdy half. My officemate couldn't get to her camera fast enough.

Though, yesterday, my bottom half not covered by any bee wear was actually a pair of ripped skinny jeans, so I'm fairly certain I looked like some variety of nerd, though not specifically a bee one.

Make sense? I doubt it. Not important.

So, why am I here telling you all about my bee love even though I don't have a hive yet? So you can all get excited with me of course! And also so that you can prepare yourselves for the beeblahblahblah that will inevitably start next spring when I get the bees, install them in the hive, open the hive for the first time, see a bee on any of my vegetable plants, have to call the ambulance, accidentally swallow one during cocktail time, etc.

You see where this is going, right? It'll be like all the gardeningblahblahblah that spills out here, except it will be a lot heavier with words like "pollinate", "frames", "hive", "honey" and "HOLY SHIT LOOK HOW MANY APPLES WE HAVE". If one can be hopeful, anyway.

Want to know what will not be included in the beeblahblahblah? Stupid, hackneyed, cheesy, cliche bee terms swapped out for regular words OR regular words morphed into unrecognizable forms of their former selves to accommodate a bee term. Because I hate that shit with the fire of a thousand burning suns.

Don't know what I'm losing my shit over? Allow me to offer a few examples and just see if you don't start to cringe, grind your teeth and look for the nearest dull object to shove in your eyes:
  • What's all the BUZZ about?
  • I'm keeBEEing BUZZy
  • I couldn't BEE hapBEEier
OK, I can't write any more. It's too douchey. I'm starting to hate myself even with just those three examples. But you get what I mean, and so you can now know the kind of torture I'm sparing you. You're welcome. And, as an added bonus, I'll probably be upping the swears quite a bit, so the Finny you've come to endure will not go missing just because of the arrival of 30,000 fuzzy vegetable pollinating honey makers.

Though, can you imagine if I actually do this correctly and then can harvest actual Fruit of My Garden's Loins honey from my very own hive?

Yeah, I know - I'll probably shit myself with delight. Look forward to that, will you.


  1. You're gonna *cry* if you spot any of your neighbors swatting a bee, aren't you?

  2. You can MAIL ORDER BEES? That... well, I don't even know what I think about that. I'm equal parts amazed and horrified and totally freaked out. Yet, at the same time: DUH, of course you can mail order bees. How else would you get them?

  3. can i just thank you for bee-ing such a great writer?

    seriously. you have a gift.

  4. See, just another reason to covet your backyard. I want you to tell me all about it because I want to get some, too. And Joe is allergic to bees, as well. We get ourselves into interesting predicaments, don't we?

  5. This means that all your Christmas/Hanukkah gifts can now be jars of honey with a crafty handmade label proclaiming it "Fruit of My Garden's Loins Honey."

    I think that is the best naming idea ever.

  6. So happy for you! Your bees are going to just love you and your garden {I love the name of your honey already- you better trademark that} and don't worry about the allergies. My Grandfather is my beekeeping mentor and he says he gets the work done and then decides if he's having a hard time breathing. He's allergic and works most of his hives without gear. And the post office TOTALLY freaks out when the bees get shipped! You will be a most excellent beekeeper. Let me know if I can offer any advice. I don't have too many beekeeping friends...

  7. I am so looking forward to this. I have been pondering bees myself but since I'm already half-committed to chickens (which are illegal in my city--I am CRAZY) I think my husband would lose his shit if I said I was adding bees to the mix. His NY-born self is all "Since when am I married to a farmer?" Well, truth is, I'm also wondering if I can pull of a donkey in a dog suit because WHO DOESN'T WANT A DONKEY??

  8. Galadriel - I'm more of a puncher than a crier. Perhaps I should warn them.

    Dawnie - It is sort of a strange concept, but I imagine it sort of like how you can buy lady bugs or praying mantids by mail. Except with buzzing.

    cake - Oh and it begins.

    lera - Seriously - how do we come up with this crap? Of COURSE I want to take up a hobby that puts Andy's life in danger. I can't just be happy with my non-death defying hobbies, oh noooooooooo.

    Meanwhile, yes - I'll tell you all about it. And then I'll blog about it and probably Facebook about it and before long you're going to be, like, when will this girl shut up about her damned bees and then BAM you'll know it's time you got bees, too.

    Kris - Yeah, I am about to take home preserves in a whole new pervy direction. :)

    Jenny - Hell yeah you can offer advice! Stay tuned for the inevitable madness.

    So excited!

    And consider it copyrighted. In the sense that I'll be putting it on my preserves. I've gotten requests from family to put fun labels on my canned goods, so this is what they get. They should have known better.

    Jen - Well, I don't want a donkey, but I'd get a goat if Bubba didn't hate them. And if I lived on a farm.

    Hopefully the bees get along with him better.

  9. Damn. For a minute there I thought MAYBE you had the inside scoop on a new Beastie Boy album. *sigh*


    side note- I do like honey. SHOCKER.

  10. I was disappointed that you're not raising chickens, but very excited about the bees. My husband has also forbade me from getting bees, but I'm pretty sure he just said I couldn't buy bees. (Even after I reminded him that I let him buy worms.) But he didn't say I couldn't install a hive. Maybe I'll see how your bees work out first. :)

  11. Bees are so interesting - I always thought it would be cool to have some hives but I never actually DID anything about it. My father-in-law was a bee keeper, I was around his hives many times and only once did I get stung - when he was taking the honeycomb off....I guess a pissed-off bee followed us out to the garage.

  12. ah! i want bees too! can't wait to hear about your adventures.

  13. Bees. Bees? Bees! Of course you will keep bees. You and Sherlock Holmes. Bubba hiding in the house. Getting your little knife out and skinning the bees to make yourself tiny coats.

  14. I do remember you mentioning bee keeping classes, though I figured if you were anything like me (which luckily you aren't) it would take you several years to get around to actually buying them.

    I await the beeblahblahblah with much anticipation!

  15. Here's some great beekeeping books:
    Sue Hubbell - A Book of Bees: This is the one that got me started.

    Holly Bishop - Robbing the Bees: Not as good, but still...

    C. P. Dadant - Lessons in Beekeeping: Hey, it's Dadant. You have to have this one in your library.

    Of course, you also have to read Sylvia Plath's bee poems, and The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King, and...

    Why? Because you're Finny, and you never do anything by halves.



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