Thursday, April 17, 2014  
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Arnold Dyre
 
Commentary by Arnold Dyre

   I have become a beekeeper.
   My father kept bees before I was born and continued during my earliest years when we lived in Montgomery County.
   My friend Mike O’Brien’s brother, Phillip, who lives in South Mississippi, is a master beekeeper and started Mike with a hive of bees several years ago.
   Earlier this year, Mike started me with a small hive and already, with the help of Phillip and Mike, I have added an extension to the top of the hive because my bees are doing so well.
   Initially, Mike calculated that I would not have honey to harvest until the next year, but it appears I will be enjoying honey from my own bees in just a few months.

Proper Attire
   Mike saw to it that I became outfitted with all the gear. I have a protective suit that covers me from neck to ankles. The pant  legs fit snugly over the tops of a pair of garden boots.
   I have special gloves and a mesh veil that protects my head, face and neck. When in my bee garb, I look like I just landed from outer space!
   The bee outfit is hot!  You cannot wipe sweat running down your face when under the mesh veil. You try to wipe the sweat but you cannot.
   When this year’s summer heat really set in, I decided to quit wearing all of that gear. Instead, I resolved to just make friends with my bees and figured they would not sting a friend.

A, B, C, D ...
   When I first began keeping the bees, Beverly started naming them. She named them Maurice, Homer, Hank, Billy Bob, Conway, Frank, Eduardo, Marvin, Greg, Oscar, Quigley, Anthony, Dave and on and on until I told her that all the worker bees that she could readily observe were female.
   I explained that the males were called drones and stayed inside the hive attending to the queen bee. Beverly then decided to name all the workers the same name since there were so many of them and they all looked alike anyway.

Royalty
   Beverly named all the worker bees Beatrice. She named the queen bee Queen Elizabeth. And she said that Drone was a fine name for the men bees. I call all the workers Bea and talk nicely to them at every opportunity.
   When this awful heat descended on us, I noted a strange sound coming from inside the hive. I asked Mike about it, and he said all the bees were fanning their wings in an effort to keep the queen cool. He suggested that I prop the lid of the hive up a bit with a small block of wood to give extra ventilation during the day.
   Mike told me to put on my beekeeper gear when I fooled with the hive, but I ignored his advice and just talked sweet to all of the bees and did not get stung.
I’ve no fear, and I have more friends than I can name!

adyre@comcast.net


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