There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true,
do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know.
The keeping of bees, for instance.
-Henry David Thoreau
It's hive inspection day at the Balm and Honey bee farm. I'm getting ready to climb in my truck, rumble down some county roads, put on my bee suit and crack open a hive. I can't wait. Today I find out how the bees fared this winter... how they're faring headed into the spring honey flow. Today I see how many splits, or new hives, I'll be able to make for the coming year. Today I will taste the sweetness of victory or the bitterness of (temporary) defeat.
I think of beekeepers like I think of firefighters: they're just not normal. No rational person runs into a burning building, and, likewise, no rational person sticks their head into a hive of stinging bees. Both require (at varying levels, sure) a bit of bravery- a deep-seated assurance somewhere inside that you have to be among those who do something about dire situations. Firefighters are more glorious, honorable, and brave, yes. But beekeepers are savers in their own quiet way. I am humbled to join their ranks.
So today I get bee answers and tomorrow I hit the road for the Mother Earth News (you know that magazine, right?) Texas Fair-- a two day homesteading extravaganza. I'll be taking a cheesemaking class and attending lectures on farming from Joel Salatin (what?!) and diving in to beekeeping and poultry production methods. I think there's a specialty kombucha brewing lesson thrown in there somewhere, too. Pretty sure I won't sleep a wink tonight, I'm that excited.
Will report on bees and the fair next week. Until then, be safe and well, friends. -Brin