Thursday, 18 May 2017

The one thing I know for certain is I have GOTSTA sit down and clean my sensor and lenses. GOTSTA.

     Yesterday we spent the day raking the fields and today (minus the quarrel) we returned to help with harvesting the honey. It is more than possible, though we were not asked to come, we will do the same tomorrow, considering four people worked very hard all day and not even got half the work done. (The plan was 200 honeycomb frames. We got about 80.)
     On one hand, it was great. I am extremely fond of bee-keeping and an avid student of the art. Some day, when I won’t live in the city, I fully plan on having observation hives – the ones barely touched and left alone to their own devices. There is A LOT of details to master before you want to take on bee-keeping, because there are dozens of ways you can fuck up and ruin the lives of the entire colony or, to a lesser extent, ruin the lot of your investment. People have been doing it since the dawn and there are still nooks and crannies.
     My job today was combing, with a metal comb, the wax caps off the honeycomb cells. See, when the bees store pollen and honey in the cells, which they have built upon the honeycomb wax base, when they fill the cell, they cover it with a waxy seal. Those seals have to be removed so as when the frame with the honeycomb is placed in the centrifuge, the honey can spray out. Afterwards the barely damaged cells, empty, are returned to the bees so they can gather another round of honey. Depending on the harvest – it was meadow harvest now and the next one should be acacia – the honey tastes different. ‘Tis a crappy year for chestnut, but sometimes the chestnut is the best one.  
     However. And I know I am going to sound like a raw vegan when I say this, I am becoming more and more disenfranchised with the notion of taking the honey from the bees. First off, some die in the process. Not many, perhaps ten, but they do. Some get squashed when handling the frames incidentally, or they get stuck in the honey. Though the keepers make sure they are all okay, it happens. Plus of course there are those who die stinging the keepers. Both the General and his dad wore protective suits. Those also protect the bees, because if they can’t sting you, they don’t die. Somehow after the entirety of evolution – these things survived the fucking Ragnarok of dinosaurs – they still haven’t figured out how not to die on the defensive.
     But most importantly, the bees KNOW they are being robbed. They know, because after the second (often of the only two per year) harvest, they are much more aggressive, defensive and competitive amidst themselves, even at times so desperate they engage in fatal battles with their neighbour hives. Even though the bee-keepers do everything to keep the colonies happy, healthy, safe, fed and free of parasites, after the second harvest, every bee is thinking: oh, come ON! Are you fucking kidding me!?

Before we got to work and the General was still napping after his night-shift, Starbark and I roamed around the fields, though, wet to the gills with dew, photographing (I apologized to Drej for once again borrowing her shtick) the tall grasses and pretty flower (and the occasional insect form) covered in Swarovski crystals :P