Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sitting at the kid's table

Checking on the hives at Foxbriar.

We went to our first bee keeper's meeting tonight. We joined the Ozark Foothills Beekeepers Association.

I was amazed at how many people were there. The community center in Damascus was full and my mentor, Lynn and I had to find chairs to have a place to sit. We pulled them into the corner, where several people were visiting and one woman had pretty seed catalogs on the table.

There were several couples in the room. The long tables were mostly filled with distinguished- looking gentlemen. As people talked about trouble with hive beetles and a new spray that is being used on blossoms and kills bees, I looked around the room.

Everyone in the room was fit-looking, and healthy. And, our corner table had the only heads in the room that were not gray. In fact, I started feeling like I was at a community social and sitting at the kid's table.

We were mostly being good kids - we were listening as our elders talked about sugar dusting the bees for mites and how the bees just aren't capping their honey this year. We didn't sneak too many peeks at the pretty flower catalogs and we only had to be told to "either speak up and share or pipe down" once.

Tom Theobald, a columnist who I have read for years and whose work I admire, is also a beekeeper. He owns Niwot Honey Farm in Colorado. He wrote, (many years ago, so if I mis-remember this my apologies to Tom) that one of the biggest threats to the honey bee was that the beekeepers are dying out - and no one is replacing them.

Well, tonight Shawn and I took our seats at the kid's table. Hopefully we'll be able to listen and learn and follow in the footsteps of the wonderful community of beekeepers here in the Ozarks.

The beesies are busy and they have so much for us to learn.

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