Friday afternoon, a friend invited me to join her and some friends on a trip to the Cotton Pickin’ Fair in Gay, GA. My first inclination was to say “No;” It’s time to remove the Apivar from the hives and there are three hives I need to check for queens. The weeds are encroaching on four other hives. I have two unit plans to write, and I want to get a jump start on lesson plans. Then it hit me: I haven’t done anything fun since I started work on July 23. True, we had the entire family over when our daughter was here Labor Day weekend, but I spent most of the afternoon in the office writing emergency lesson plans. True, we spent most of last Sunday with Hubby’s aunt who was at our farm for the first time while visiting from Texas; then, after she left, I worked until 10:00 pm just to get ready for Monday. So, I said “Yes” and spent a wonderful morning looking at arts and crafts and laughing with friends. I could have spent thousands of dollars if I had them, but most of my purchases were small: bee earrings for $5, a bee dish towel for $6, a bat house for $25 (more work for Hubby), and a beautiful Damascus knife for Hubby (something to offset the addition to the honey-do list). Now, the knife was supposed to be a surprise, but my new bank wasn’t sure it was me spending money so I had to pull out the joint account debit card! He got to see pictures of the knife last night and is impatient to get his hands on it next weekend.
I did some school work yesterday afternoon, but spent this morning outdoors doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. While tidying up around one of the raised beds, I found a mini-watermelon at the end of a dead vine. I like watermelon, but I was mainly growing these because I’ve seen posts of bees feeding on watermelon slices. I quartered the softball sized melon and took it down to the apiary, but I have no idea of what they think of it because a persistent bee took immediate interest in my hair. That may not sound like a bad thing, but the last time that happened I ended up with a bee behind my glasses, which was about the scariest bee situation I’ve encountered, so I briskly started to walk away and then commenced to jog. If it wasn’t so late in the season, some-bee-body might be getting requeened about now! (And yes, I did get stung right below my eyebrow last week, and, yes, I did look like I’d been in a fist fight for a few days.)
After loosing the curious bee and returning to the vegetable garden, I was able to pull the rest of the grass from around the rosemary plants. Some of them have recovered from being transplanted well enough to start blooming, and I was very happy to see bees on the flowers last weekend. I’d love to have enough rosemary and lavender growing for it to have an impact on the taste of our honey. That day will come…..
There were a few honey vendors at the fair yesterday, but I was disappointed to see no long lines at their stalls. Cloister Honey out of Charlotte, NC was doing steady business with their infused honey, and my friend bought a gift package with vanilla, bourbon, and Tupelo jars. I love the simplicity of the label on their jars, and their displays were simple to the point of being high end and clean while also being very inviting. They had a single honey frame in a display case in the center of the counter. The rich colors of the wood and honey stood out against the white counter, and there were just enough bees on the frame to draw attention to it. Can you tell that they impressed me with their marketing strategies? It’s so diametrically opposed to what we have been thinking of doing, and I don’t know that it fits our personalities, but I do like what I saw!
I have two days off for fall break, so I am looking forward to inspecting hives while it’s still cool tomorrow morning. Then I’m off to get my Georgia driver’s license. I’ve been warned that that may become an adventure as our closest DMV doesn’t handle many naturalized citizens…… Hmmmm – what’s the biggest adventure — a long wait at the local DMV or fighting traffic in the big city? At least I’ll have Tuesday to recover — and register my car. But it’s a beautiful day and the Goldenrod is still in full bloom providing lots of lovely food to our bees, so life is good.