Thursday, April 24, 2014

Honey Bees

     I have a bit of a strange fear of bees. As far as I can recall I don't think I have ever been stung by a bee. So, I shouldn't have a problem, right? I guess that would be true if not for one small fact. My over active imagination that leads me to have plenty to write about-also sometimes contributes to some small, odd irrational fears that I possess.
     I mean, what if it were to turn out that I am allergic to bee stings? This fear has contributed to my rather limited participation in the care of our yard each year. I have made the vow that this year will be different-I will not allow myself to be limited by my fear of these helpful little creatures, the honey bees.
     I already have taken some small steps in the right direction. Why, just this week-I weeded our pachysandra and roses, pulled up overgrowth that covered the wee sidewalk on the side of our garage, and watered the roses as well.
     And as if that wasn't enough-I also went to help out at my in-laws. My in-laws that are bee keepers. And have a bee supply store. And had a semi truck deliver 808 packages of bees to their house yesterday. Those were 3 pound packages. That contained 10,000 bees in each package. They had 8 MILLION bees delivered to the store at their house. And I helped-carry packages to the truck to be loaded for today's delivery, helped hand out packages to the customers that were picking them up to replenish their hives that were hard hit by our extremely long, cold winter. Most bee keepers in our area lost their entire hives due to the harsh winter.
     One customer said she loved the humming sound of the bees, that it was so soothing to her. Um, that was not my first thought. To me, the garage filled with thousands and thousands of bees is more of a crescendo in the symphonic score of a movie about the killer swarm that will wipe out the entire town. A cat purring is soothing, the waves rolling into the shore at the state park is soothing, or maybe a gentle rain pattering on the roof could be called soothing. Not the humming of the bees. It unnerves me.
     Yet, I can't deny how amazing they are. The way they cluster around their queen, the amount of heat their tiny bodies produce-tangible as I pick up the screened package, even on a chilly spring evening. It amazes me to think of the role that these humble bees play in our lives, how without them-our crops and orchards would soon fail, our ability to feed ourselves would be wiped out.
     I am proud of my in-laws, the way they have started this business when they could have just sat back to enjoy a retirement. They have found something they care about deeply and work to share their knowledge, products, and skills with others. They are working to help make our small part of the world a much better place-from the classes they help teach, the people they educate by providing lectures to various groups, and by being involved in our community. My father-in-law helped the city when they needed to produce an ordinance for keeping bees in town.
     This is just further proof to me-that no matter what your dream is-it is never to late to work towards making that dream come true. I am thankful for my in-laws being able to inspire others through their start up of their own business. I am glad to be a small part of this and a witness to it as well.