i am here in the crisp midwest, taking a break from the city streets and the hustle of tour life.
Neil is leaving on a writing trip and I came out to help Lorraine send him off into the great good night. Lucky me, my trip fell in honey harvest season.
One of the tasks in preparation was making bee food for their subzero winter freeze, Sharon the Bee/Birdchick headed up the taskforce:
Lorraine, Neil and Sharon:
we began to suit up like Ghostbusters...
I noticed everyone had their sign, everyone but me. I was “bee guest”--- change this please, Quiche. In the movies, it is always red shirts and “bee guests” that die first.
we trekked out to the hive corral, surrounded by a bear-thwarting electric fence.
Cabal the dog stayed out of bee range, having learned a thing or three about the sharp ways of the black and golden stripes.
I was there mostly as documentarian, but every once in a while, a shout for “smoker! more smoke, please!” would bring me out of my watcher role. The smoke seems to subdue the bees, they head back for the hive, thinking there is a fire.
Lorraine is so beautiful in her calm:
I got to use the hive tool to pry apart the heavy stacks of the hives to get at the full to overflowing gorgeous honey:
Sharon examines the comb:
I asked Neil to take a picture of me in my bee hazmat suit (with a few bees on me):
Three out of four of the hives were fairly subdued by the cool temperatures.
One hive however, the bees came out swinging, Sharon was stung once, and poor Hans was stung several times in the ankle.
Neil sat through a storm of bees, angry bees, and i filmed without dropping my camera, even though the “bonking” (mad pile-driving hits into our bee suits, with all the force their tiny bodies can muster)
here he impresses Lorraine with his demonstration of bee shaking:
The team works together, each of them trusting the other:
(notice the Batman hive, another reason to love Hans)
Neil shows us a drone:
the walk home:
i don’t want to leave...