Eight

Of all the good stories swirling and swarming, this one is great.

Eight years ago I had bees. Why not, right? Everyone should try lots of new things in this life. Keeping bees helped me get over some fears I had and taught me a new appreciation for things going on in the world around us, things we often take for granted and ignore. I liked getting suited up and being among the bees in the same way I liked wearing the fire gear when I was a firefighter. You’re safe inside that stuff without being separated from the world. Plus it was fun and funny to have all those bees in our family.

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My love at the time, Kj, loved the bees too and wanted to have his own bees back home in Saratoga but he was really intent on capturing a swarm rather than buying bees, which was how I got them.

So he got all the stuff, the equipment and then he waited. If you build it, right?

And you know, sometimes that’s what it takes in life … patience. Fortitude. Preparedness. Tenacity.

A couple of weeks ago a swarm showed up in his backyard, way up high in a tree. Like way. But he’s strong and able and brave and funny so he climbed that tree and gathered those bees up and brought them down to the hive that had been patiently awaiting their arrival. And just like that he became a beekeeper.

They’re at the far end of the tennis court, getting the royal treatment with a water dish and an umbrella. Needless to say, no one is playing much tenny this summer; the bees have become the love story of the season. We watch them in the heat, we watch them fly away and back, we rescue them when they’ve flown into the pool.

A kindhearted and gentle beekeeping teacher, Tim, came to teach all of us more about bees. We were mesmerized, enchanted by the story of bee life, bee community. He told us there are over 30,000 bees in the hive. That’s a lot of new neighbors. He told us about their flight patterns, about the queen, about how a hive can build a new queen, he told us to come right up close, that the smoke would keep them mellow, which was true. He showed us how to open the hive up and to look around inside to see how the bees were doing.

He taught us so much, and we were all delighted and amazed all over again, just like we were when we heard the story and saw the pictures of the big swarm in the tree out back and how Kj filled that bucket with bees and then made a cozy home for them.

He’s good that way, with the taking care of all creatures.

But hold on … the honey. Fresh honey, on the comb, straight out of the hive … surely this is what all the food in heaven tastes like. And on this morning it was infused with a bit of the smoke from the smoker … the golden liquid, made with so much love, with the added smokiness … word failure here.

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I mean. Get bees. Get to know bees. Be patient and curious. And grateful. Eight years is a long time to wait for something good to manifest, right? And so worth it worth it worth it.

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