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Honeyrun Farm produces pure raw, honey, handcrafted soap, and beeswax candles in Williamsport, Ohio

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Fired up on Father's Day

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

They're home!

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All the pollination hives are now where they belong. It took a bit longer this year to get them to their out yards. Weather difficulties. As usual.

Last week Mason had some friends over. The idea was stay out in the camper, but three inches of rain that night put a stop to it. Still, the next day they helped us to celebrate Ohio's awesomeness. 

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It seems to be shaping up about like last year-- rain and more rain. Flooding and chaos in the heartland. Like a drum major in front of the parade, high winds preceed each storm . About once a week we circle the yard and pick up downed branches. One of these days we'll have a hell of a bonfire.

About a half mile away a big branch broke off the hickory tree and fell in the corn. Bridger and I went to cut it up, but the chainsaw was out of gas. No matter, we'll just drag our prey down the road.

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All the weather worries have sort of prevented us from doing what we should be doing- extracting honey. It's time to pull the spring boxes. Unfortunately there's not a lot of it, so I guess it's no rush. As I said in an earlier post, we sold too many nucs and I sort of split myself out of a spring honey crop. Too bad, because it could have been pretty decent. Every now and then I come across a hive that was left strong enough to take advantage of our spring flow. 

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Wish there were more!

I have learned some things over the years. Like, no matter what, keep your comb honey yards strong. Don't split those hives hard! Our spring honey flow is both intense and reliable. It may be short lived, but if you have some comb boxes on decently strong hives, you're sure to fill them. 

And we did.

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So we got that going for us. Comb honey, check.

And the June mite treatment is well under way. Check.

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I'm back into that good old formic acid. Missed those vapors! You can see that the bees also love this stuff. (Sarcasm) After applying the strip and putting the hive back together, the returning foragers seem to be stopped dead in their tracks:

 Whoa! What did you guys do in there!

Whoa! What did you guys do in there!

This time I won't preach about mite treatments. Most of you beekeepers know how important this is. Here's a post from last year where I was a bit more preachy: TREAT YOUR BEES!

But let's not set preachiness aside totally. I can't help it. I know full well I should just stick with bees, but it's Father's Day and this week we bumped up against an issue that set me on fire. It's political. So it's dangerous for someone like me. Normally, as you may have guessed, I lean a little left. Not hard left, just a little. (Just enough to piss off my father.) And I don't argue left. It's not worth getting red in the face. I just shrug. Mostly I sympathize. Everyone is a product of their background. Their parents. Their community. Their education. Their media sources. Their own stubbornness. Bigots will be bigots. Racists will be racist. Homophobes, homophobic. Haters will hate and deniers will deny. I shrug. It's beyond me to try to change a set mind with facts. Or logic. Or reason. Or rationality. Or empathy. But...

It was empathy that put this week's hot button issue on the forefront of my mind. In fact, I was so out of sorts about it, I had to run it by Jayne. Should we actually do something?

It's this deal of taking kids from their parents as a deterrent for illegal border crossings. Some 2000 kids now. What the hell? This is one issue that is so clearly cut and dry. So clearly right and wrong. How could anyone be on the wrong side of this? And let it continue? Yet you see memes and arguments on both sides. Is this actually a law of the United States? What kind of heartless bastard(s) put that through? Surely not fathers and mothers! Surely not God fearing Christians! Could any "God of Love" forgive such a thing? 

I know Colbert isn't everyone's cup of tea, but he nailed it on this one. This was yesterday:

Can you imagine the hell these people are going through? Put yourself  there- you are leaving the hell you came from. You didn't want to, it's all you've known, but you're desperate and hopeless. There's no future here. So you have your kids with you because you're doing this for them. The future. It's such a risk, and it may not succeed. And even if it does, the best that you yourself can hope for is a life in the shadows. In the margins of a marginal society. Picking strawberries? Hanging drywall? Living in sheds and basements. But your kids... your kids will find their way. They'll learn the language. They'll learn the customs. They'll assimilate. A bright hope for the next generation. Sure it's a risk. But the future is always a risk. And always worth it.

You're caught at the border. It's always been a border of hope and despair. And you got caught. You lose. Despair. You are handcuffed and herded. When just the day before, you were a hopeful father. You had your family, forging a path to a better life, running from crime and poverty and hopelessness. Running from criminals. Now you're the criminal. A criminal? Now at the mercy of the courts. But at least you're still a father. At least you've still got your kids.

And then the worst possible thing happens. Worse than torture, worse than death. This new country decides to enforce a law.

 

This is so clearly a case of right and wrong.

I'm happy to hear that there seems to be a rising tide of protest. A very justified protest. I will gladly lend my support to these people. 

Happy Father's Day. I hope you fathers get to enjoy your kids as much as I enjoy mine.

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What the dickens?

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

It was the best of times,

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it was the worst of times,

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it was the age of wisdom,

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it was the age of foolishness...

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...a little recap on our tale of two vacations.

Three days in the NC mountains and three days on the SC beach. Both fun, interesting and memorable. Both exasperating. Eden decided that this was the trip where under no circumstance was she going to let herself be photographed with the family. 

This is the best we've got:

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In recent years, the Carolinas have been our go-to spot for a quick and easy vacation. The beaches, the mountains, the forests and the history-- all within a day's drive.

But it's never quite as easy as you think. Aside from the usual difficulties of keeping the kids from killing themselves or each other, aside from the predictable moments of me wanting to strangle one of them... this time there were other more specific obstacles. Like getting both burnt and eaten alive on the beach. The temps hovered around ninety, and the no see ums (also called sand gnats) were out in force. We camped, and they seemed to come straight through the mesh of our tents. Each morning we woke to find ourselves covered red with bites. Then spent the day itching. It was fun!

When we weren't ducking the hot sun and darting the biting bugs, we were dodging the heavy rain. It rained every day.

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This made hiking somewhat difficult. But I have to say, our kids really turned a corner on this trip. For the miles we covered, there was very little complaining. A real change from past hikes. It gives me hope. 

The three days in NC area were spent surrounded by art. While the mountains and mist provided a perpetual artistic backdrop, the town gave it up close and personal. Asheville seemed every bit a hub of interest and culture. Music, murals, food and events everywhere you turned. Even the people are works of art. From Wayne, our highly decorated Airbnb host to the nice lady serving coffee at the farmers market.

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If the Asheville market has anything over Worthington, it would be the body art. (Except for Jess at the Honeyrun Farm tent. Nothing could top our Jess!)

Art was everywhere. We took a lunch break at the famous Woolworth's Lunch Counter,

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and while our hotdogs were being made, we had some time to meander through the gallery section of the building. The kids quickly found their style.

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And I found some stuff to my liking. 

 Silly or profound? Depends on your frame of mind...

Silly or profound? Depends on your frame of mind...

I got flipping though a box of painting copies, and found this.

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I laughed and called Eden over. "Look Babygirl! It's me and you when I get mad. See, I'm the big ugly monster and you're the little kitty."

She looked for a second and shook her head. Grabbing the next one in the box, she said, No Daddy. "It's this one. See. I'm the girl and you're the bird."

The title of this-- STEALING BEAUTY FROM STRANGE ANGELS.

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I stared at the picture a few seconds.

"You know what, Babygirl? You're right."