|My Handsome Beekeeper|
If there is one person who is keeping up with it all, and I mean everything, right now, it’s my husband. It’s one man to 260 beehives, raising queens, seeking terrain and chasing the flower blooms, with honey deliveries on top of that, then taking care of his wife getting her prescriptions at the pharmacy, being there for every sage femme (mid-wife)/birthing group/doctor appointments/sonograms, dealing with insurance stuff, getting groceries, helping set-up the baby nursery and the heavy loaded garden work, being chauffer for his wife until she can get her license, and somehow he still manages to do the dishes and give her foot rubs with tired hands. How did I get so lucky?
I don’t know how he juggles it all, though he’s always been an amazing circus artist. I remember back in the day when he tried to impressed me by juggling the faucille tool, a sickle hand blade, which we use to harvest lavender and other wild plants. That was then. Husband, father, beekeeper, businessman, this is now.
|Apiary up the road from our house.|
|Some hives in our backyard.|
And now, this spring, and soon the summer to come, will be an extremely eventful, exciting and busy time for us. I am mostly excited, though a little nervous, naturally; our baby girl is expected to arrive July 6th, during peak season, around the time Jorris will have to move the bees onto the Lavender. And, with the pandemic, clinic regulations are that he is not to leave the building, otherwise he won’t be able to re-enter and be with us. I am hoping the bees will be well for a few days, and he won’t have to go.
It’s lovely to follow and watch him work, the way he surveys each hive, in the flow of doing and observing, keeping track of each colony, its health and the honey flow. He’s always a few steps ahead in his mind, planning out the next spots to move them, driving around to each apiary, waking up in the middle of the night when the high winds blow bee hive roofs off! At the same time he is queen rearing, raising his own queens, which takes a very dedicated schedule commitment, and precise calendar to follow for success.
|Our Busy Bees|
Sometimes when I tag along, I bring a chair, find a shady spot under a tree, read a little, then help with the smoker and observe frames for eggs or brood along with him. It gives us a chance to be together during the drives, to talk bees, for me to learn more. It also keeps me in touch with our work as a couple and reminds me of our commitment to this profession and to Mother Nature. After all, each bee is our responsibility to care for and their equal hard work this time of year we are utmost grateful for. Their liquid gold results in our bread and butter. It’s humbling to watch them waggle and care for each other on the frames, marvelling at the fact of all the many flowers they must have had to visit to gather those cute little colorful pollen balls on their back legs. When tasting honey straight from the frames, I am reminded of the magic, which I discovered when I first arrived into this world of bee keeping nearly 5 years ago.
|Breakfast in Bed: pumpkin pancakes, fresh-squeezed o.j., coffee.|
I was hoping to take my handsome man out to a date night for his birthday today, but no restaurants are open yet for such an occasion. So, I opted for breakfast in bed, and while it wasn’t a pumpkin pie (his favorite), it was pumpkin pancakes, with half a pumpkin left from last fall I was able to salvage. I put on some coffee, made some fresh squeezed orange juice, a little kiwi and pear fruit salad, and picked some fresh wild flowers.
Just waking up as I entered our bedroom with the birthday tray, he sat up, sleepy-eyed, surprised and happy. We shared the pancakes and coffee, savoring a peaceful morning together. He opened my present which was a book by a bee researcher and professor he admires. Bodhi came home, meowing through the window. Baby kicked in my belly as I bit into the soft buttery pancakes, probably in delight of her first taste of pumpkin pancakes, while wishing her Papa a happy birthday, too.
*photos by me.