roughly five years ago, when i was twelve or thirteen, i convinced my pa to drive me a few hours upstate to meet a beekeeper. i had spend the year prior studying, researching, learning and soaking in all i could about honey bees. i had binders filled with notes and a decent collection of books, all about honey bees and how to care for them. i was
fascinated obsessed with them.
pa drove me to meet this beekeeper so i could buy a box of honey bees from him. they smelled of smoke and honey and hummed quietly among themselves, sealed in the darkness. the beekeeper’s name was sam and he was probably around his twenties with a scraggly beard. he was really young for a beekeeper. he wore all loose, white clothing and a straw that hat hid his eyes from the white sun. he had a smoker but barely used it, the bees were humming happily about him, like they were intoxicated with his presence. he was very gentle and kind. there were mounds of dried mud, bricks and sticks on some of the white boxes and that was how he reminded himself of what was wrong with certain hives. he used less invasive tactics and no chemicals with his bees. it was so simple, so natural. i didn’t understand a lot of what he said because he was very soft-spoken so i wandered around as he rambled passionately to my pa. i later found out that sam told my pa about how he often slept under the stars with his honey bees. dad was perplexed as to why one would sleep out in the open like that (with bees!) but it made perfect sense to me.
fast-foward: i was just talking pretty passionately about honey bees to j, raving about them really. then i thought of sam and realized just how radical he is. how he preferred living simply than with all ‘modern’ ways of mainstream and didn’t need much to get by. he was a huge influence on me when i was much younger and still is, despite the fact i barely remember meeting him. he reminded me that i can still be a beekeeper. i don’t need much, land isn’t even necessary. i can still be a beekeeper. looking forward to see where this flow carries me.