What’s it all about?

Amid the craziness of my family’s everyday life–a bathroom remodel that has rendered us showerless, an ambitious social calendar, and a flooded car–two large boxes arrived at our house. At first, the boxes went largely unnoticed (by me, at least).  I just assumed they were the hardware I’d ordered for the bathroom a few days earlier.  They had been carried inside the door by the contractors and nudged to the side, out of the way of the traffic into and out of the house.

They had been sitting there unopened for two days when my husband, Dana, started bringing up bees.

“We’ve gotta order our bees soon,” he said.

“Let’s just see how much the car costs first,” I replied, cringing slightly.  In the year we have had this car, we’ve never made it out of the shop for less than a grand.

“I really want to get them this year,” he insisted.

I wondered vaguely why the subject had come up all of the sudden.  We had ordered our hive, a gorgeous modified Warré, several weeks earlier, just before the maker had stopped taking orders for the season.  I had stumbled onto their site, fallen in love, and decided that this was the only hive for our future honeybees. Then I saw their most recent Facebook post, announcing that they were backed up to March and wouldn’t be taking any more orders for complete hives.  The post was only a day or two old, so in desperation I began the motions of placing an order, sure that at any moment I would be stopped:  “Error: What’s the matter, stoopid, didn’t you see the post? NO MORE ORDERS!”

But miraculously, they had not yet disabled the site’s online ordering capability and it seemed to go through.  For days after, I nervously checked my inbox, expecting to receive an apology and refund at any moment. Finally, an e-mail arrived confirming that our hive was in production, and then, shortly after, a shipping confirmation.

We hadn’t talked much more about it since then.  “We don’t even have a place to put bees yet,” I pointed out. “…I wonder when our hive will get here.”

Dana looked at me as if I had my pants on backwards and said, “What do you think those big boxes in the living room are?”

We paused then to celebrate the arrival of the hive with happy dances and high fives…but the hive remained in the boxes.

It was only this morning, a chilly, snow-covered first Saturday of spring, that the world stopped spinning for a few minutes as I peeled off the tape and opened the first box.  The glorious scent of cedar and honey wafted out into the room as I unpacked each thoughtfully crafted piece.

Each of the three hive boxes contains eight bars, coated with beeswax, and perfectly spaced to conform to "bee space".
Each of the three hive boxes contains eight bars, coated with beeswax, and perfectly spaced to conform to “bee space”.

The estimate for the car was only $700…that is until they found one more bad wheel bearing.  Now it is back to a thousand, just as I knew it would be.  But our will to have our bees this year is renewed.  After all, there are ways to get free bees–we’re a little late to get cheap nucs from the local bee association, and transferring bees from Langstroth nucs to a Warré hive is no picnic, I hear, but there’s always the possibility of luring or capturing a swarm. (I say that as if I have any experience whatsoever doing such a thing.)

I’ve been wanting to do a blog for a long time.  This one will not be solely about bees, since we’re into a little bit of everything.  I want to blog about crafting, photography, gardening, writing, cookingparentingLIFE!!

…But I tend to be a procrastinator.  And I am hoping that the routine, structure, and novelty of beekeeping will inspire posts not just about all things bee, but about all things that BE.

The completed modified Warré hive, from Sweet Valley Hives
The completed modified Warré hive, from Sweet Valley Hives
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