Over the Christmas break i spent time with my bees.
Here are some of my hives, my 4yo daughter helped paint one of them (we did it before the bees were in it). I have had bees for nearly 9 years but i only feel like i am beginning to get the hang of it recently. I have had lots of failures—hives dying over winter, lost swarms, boxes falling apart—and collected a few stings along the way. But nothing too bad, the worst sting was actually when my son got one on the eye when we were collecting a nuc from bindaree and he was quite young (it didn’t put him off bees, he still helps out), and my daughter burnt her hand quite badly touching a smoker one year. But i’m fine. We have always had plenty of honey and wax candles and all that fun stuff. I’m beginning to feel like i understand their moods, and am developing a feeling for how you can interact with a hive without it getting too upset. There is something to be said for the wisdom of bees. This spring i split some hives and am watching them very closely as they raise a new queen and she heads out to mate. This weekend i will open them up and discover if she has been successful. The young queen mates with a few dozen drones in a mad frenzy over a few days, then keeps their sperm in a sack for the rest of her life while she ignores men and lays thousands of eggs that mostly grow into female workers for her hive. It’s a sort of perfect society.
The other preoccupation these holidays apart from my lovely family, have been Céline, Lawrence Durrell (both present a kind of dated version of the Earth, still educational, and difficult—not to enter the house, which is perfectly inviting—just to come to terms with it), and a renewed interest in electric guitar noise effects—i am playing now through two amps, the signal split, one with a wow pedal and the other with a pedal that changes the delay, then i play away at both while pumping the pedals.. lots of fuzz.. silicon and germ.. and reverb all sloshed in.. it’s an interesting sound i’m going to get a loop pedal and make it even more dense and layered and the drop some lyric into the mix. That’s my plan this year… a big plan!