Bees & Dads

An up-close look at my bees
Me, age 4
When I was a little girl -- 4, maybe 5 years old -- my father kept bees for a few seasons. I was his only child at the time, and I don't think it ever occurred to him to treat me differently than he would've treated a son, at least insofar as quality time was concerned. Which meant I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons fishing, perusing the local hardware store, or working the hives with my dad, who was always happy to have me at his side. As far as I can tell, this is the very best way to raise a girl.

As my father's beekeeping assistant, I witnessed the marvels of apiculture with wide-eyed wonder. At that age, every girl thinks her father is invincible, but as mine smoked angry bees into submission and braved  stingers with steely eyes and a smile, I had more proof up my sleeve than most other daughters.

Last month my parents came up for a visit, and my dad helped me start two beehives of my own. With my nucs (starter hives) in the back seat, we held our breath and drove sixty miles from the apiary where I bought them back to the farm in our bee suits, wondering how we'd explain ourselves should we happen to be pulled over.
My Dad & I

Since installing my bees five weeks ago, I have been completely enthralled with these little critters and I'll write more about the joys of beekeeping soon. But until then, in honor of father's day, I thought it was worth taking a moment to thank my dad for exposing me to beekeeping, and so many other interesting hobbies and activities, as a child. I wouldn't be the self-sufficient person (or beekeeper!) I am today if it weren't for his belief that daughters should have just as many opportunities to do,  see, and learn things as sons do.

Happy Fathers Day, to you and yours!


In Bloom

I wait literally all year long for this time...right now...these long, sunny days which allow us to finally creep out of the confines our of heads and homes and soak up the wonder of Mother Nature. How silly and small any worries instantly feel with the sun on your shoulders and blue skies overhead. It's as if every blade of grass, blowing in the breeze, is actually waving and shouting, "Seriously, it's gorgeous outside. Get over yourself, and enjoy it!"

Thanks for the reminder. I think I will.

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
-Emily Dickinson