Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Stone Turtle and Bees

      I have been playing with the idea of having a beehive or two for many years now. I love bees. I love to watch them flitting from flower to flower. Their industriousness is always so inspirational to me when I am procrastinating in my lawn chair and feeling a little guilty because they are so busy and I am just sunbathing. They always seem to tell me, "Get up and get busy." In actuality, I am doing a lot of mental work when the bees see me in the lawn chair. Somebody has to do the thinking.
      A few years ago, I decided to get a little bit more serious about introducing a hive on our farm. I ordered some beekeeping books for beginners and started to read them in my lawn chair while all those worker bees that came along to pollinate my herbs and tomatoes were busy, busy, busy.
      I watched a swarming hive or two move past my house and was not only totally impressed by the sight but also really intimidated by so many bees that could possibly sting me. It really brought home the concept of building or buying a bee box and then trying to install a hive of a few thousand bees, plus the queen in a cage, in that box. How in the world would I get those bees in the box without them all swarming around me, enveloping me in a dark bee fog. And, how in the world do you get that queen out of the cage??? So, the books went to the book shelf and I stopped thinking about bees for a while......until I saw a post on Craig's List about a beginner's beekeeping class in Tipton, Oklahoma, a few weeks ago.
      I attended Tipton Valley Honey Company's class last Saturday. All I can say is that it changed my procrastinating attitude about getting a beehive. Gary Gorse is a master beekeeper and the day was packed with information and stories from the life of a professional beekeeper. Did you know that there is a huge difference between a beekeeper and a bee-haver? As a beekeeper, you need to know as much as you possibly can about your environment - from soil type to fauna and flora around you to the effects of adverse weather.  It brought home the fact that a little insect like the bee shows us how everything in our environment is intertwined and connected and how important it is that we are keepers and not havers, so that the magical web of nature can go on doing all the magical things it does everywhere around us.
Photo by Dani Blaylock

      Our modern life style, that does not allow a single weed to grow in our manicured lawns, does not make it easy for the bee to survive and go about her daily business of ensuring our food supply. Therefore, I will do as much as I can in my small world to help the little bee out a bit. I will plant lots of bee-friendly herbs and flowers, seed out some red clover, hope for many dandelions to beautify my lawn and hope for some much needed rain. And I will get my first bee box this spring.
      I am ready for my next farm girl adventure - beeware, here I come. I have dreams of honey and all things wax can make and lots of happy little bees visiting my herb garden. What a beautiful dream, what a beautiful life!

Lots of Bee-Happy Greetings,

The Stone Turtle - Lodging

This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

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