-Posted by Isaac
Is it high time I posted a blog? I think so. Sorry to keep you waiting. We’ve been so busy! I’m full into playing with bees, while Jayne keeps it all rolling in the honey house.
Yesterday I spent the hot, sticky afternoon doing one of my least favorite jobs.
Putting on pollen traps. It’s not one bit fun. The bees get mad, trying to figure out the trap, and I get tired/mad, lifting boxes, taping holes, sweating through my suit, fighting an unrelenting thirst. I was able to put about 40 on before saying, enough!
Let’s get back to the honey.
Back to my favorite job. The summer honey harvest is in full swing and it’s been awesome this year. A lot of weight on those hives! I’ll share more about it next week.
Jayne made a cool video of of the extraction process, and if I can figure out how to put it on here, you’ll have more than just pictures and commentary.
But before we really dive into the honey, I’d like to tell you about my little pollination adventure last week. We take bees to three pumpkin farms. It used to be five, but I think some are starting to figure out that honeybee pollination isn’t vital for pumpkins. There are other insects that can do the job. Or maybe our bees are a bit pricey, I don’t know.
But Circle S Farms still think they need a few hives, and I’m perfectly willing to accommodate. Having worked with them for eight or nine years, I know the routine. The call is always going to come late (August) and they’ll always be frantic to get the bees asap. This year the call came while we were in Michigan. “We’re in bloom! Do you have bees? When can you be here!”
I have to bite my tongue, lest my sarcasm comes out. “Well, gee, of course! Let me snap my fingers and materialize your bees… let me whip up a truck to move them… a forklift, a trailer… let me teleport myself back to Ohio.”
Thankfully I did have the bees, and thankfully we happened to be heading home. Jayne only had to put up with my grumbling for a day or so. “How stupid can they be?? Just assuming I’ve got everything together… never a heads-up… never a contract… always by the seat of their pants.”
While I was quick to point out the Circle S stupidity, I sort of skipped over my own.
We got home and I was totally unprepared to move bees. No fuel in the truck, just a quarter tank in the forklift, no smoker fuel, broken windshield wipers on the truck, a mysterious hydraulic problem with the forklift, making right hand turns difficult and jerky… all things that should’ve been mitigated previously.
But I found half a can of gas in the shop, fired the smoker using dry grass, and limped along with the loading by only making sweeping left turns. It worked. And those broken wipers? Not a problem. Just pray for dry weather.
What a genius I am. But I’m not a witchdoctor. I got a few miles down the road and discovered that for some reason the running lights were not working on the trailer. I fiddled with the fuses and connections for a few minutes then gave up.
Could I just gamble? Sure it was illegal, but what’s the worst that could happen? It was early Sunday morning. What hurdles could I possibly run into— A cop? A drunk? A deer? Teenage lovers late for curfew? Overzealous churchgoers?— All dangerous in their own way. Not good. I weighed the possibilities and consequences. Hesitated. Would I really have to go back? Unload the bees, call Circle S? Hmmm….
Nope. So far, to this point, everything had teetered on the edge of disaster. And disaster had been adverted. Who was I to break a streak? Time to roll another seven.
Like clockwork, like fate, Werewolves of London came across the radio. My favorite pollination song! Time for this fool to summon his courage and let Warren Zevon get those bees to the pumpkins.
My luck held. No dangers, no hurdles, no rain. And sure enough, the bloom was on.
It took a bit longer than usual to unload. I could only turn left. My mysterious hydraulic problem hadn’t mysteriously fixed itself. But that’s ok. It gave me the chance to see a beautiful pumpkin patch sunrise.
And I would get to limp back home in the daylight, thinking about booking a flight to Vegas. Sometimes we just get lucky. We get wiser the easy way.
It’s time to find a mechanic.