-Posted by Isaac
When I was in college I was a geology major. For whatever reason today's date was held in high esteem by the students in this particular field. To study geology, it was requisite to not only understand the importance of the date, you were fully expected participate in the day's activities. It was charming.
The charm had worn away when I taught school years later. My freshmen science students would rush in, "Mr. Barnes! Mr. Barnes! It's 4/20! How bout it, Mr. Barnes! Whatcha doin' after school, Mr. Barnes?" Huh! Huh!"
They had all the motions to align with what they were insinuating.
I didn't laugh. I didn't smile. I played dumb. 4/20? Whatever do you mean?
And years after that, here I am, a beekeeper. Thank God. The only thing getting smoked is the hive.
Let me take you through the busy busy week leading up to this special date. Last Thursday we had yet another batch of queens arrive.
Soon after welcoming 50 new ladies, I said goodbye to my one lovely lady and four very loud children. They were heading to Myrtle Beach! Without me. I had to work.
Bridger christened the van just before departure.
The very next day, Jayne's tulips bloomed.
They missed it!
But I don't think they cared.
So I busied myself in the days following.
To the point of exhaustion.
These are nuc boxes shown above. Filled with bees, almost ready for their new owners. I needed a wide angle lens. This shot doesn't even show a third of them. I think we're nearing 300 total.
Sometimes they have issues.
And as in life, if the issue isn't resolved, it escalates.
At least the chickens got a free show.
Where do you find the nucs? Let me show you... this is what I did all week. Out in the bee yards I would lay everything out.
And after about an hour or more, hives were split and supered, the nucs were packed and ready for a queen.
Yard after yard it went like this. I think I missed a few meals.
In fact it got so intense, I lost track of days. Yesterday I got the call to move bees out of the apples. I was far from ready! Usually I can drop them off in prepared out yards. This year there was no preparing. I had to plop them right back where they started-- here at home.
If you count the nucs, we now have around 400 hives on two acres.
If you happen to be deathly allergic, maybe this week isn't the best to visit the farmstand.
So the family came home on Monday night. It was late, but they were still loud. I hadn't realized how much I missed the noise. And I finally got around to splitting the last yard today.
On 4/20. A special day indeed. You can see what the bees were up to. Almost all the hives looked like this.
I'm about a month late in removing that spacer...
These hives were near Tarlton. Or untamed redneck wilderness, if you live in Columbus and have never been to Tarlton. I was driving home and checking out the real estate. You know, for investment purposes, and I saw some fine acreage with some autumn olive growing out front. That's what the bees have been up to: Making honey! If you've ever tasted autumn olive honey you know it's the best in the world.
Above is a young autumn olive bush just starting to mouth off. Whole hillsides of this grow around Tarlton. I was able to capture this beauty just before the shotguns came out.
I love Tarlton.
They celebrate 4/20 in their own special way.