Friday, May 30, 2008

I Dream of Hidden Treasure

My Mom and Dad have a bee problem. The bees are flying under the house and crawling up the side of a pipe that serves as an air intake for their fireplace. It appears that they are inside the wall, behind the fireplace. It's hard to mow and weedeat in the yard on that side of the house because of the heavy bee traffic. Nathaniel and I have gone over to observe several times, and the home-focused bees actually bump into us. It's an odd sensation.

This is the second time that my parents have had this problem. The first time they called an exterminator. Since then they have become concerned about the ongoing threat to the honeybee populations, and they decided that they would like to have the bees removed this time instead of exterminated. I found out that a gentleman in our homeschool group is our county's bee expert, so I called him to inquire about his removal services.

He told me that he had an extra bee suit and that he could teach Nathaniel everything he needed to know to get our own hive going.

It is really too bad that you can't hug people over the phone.

He asked me whether the exterminator had removed the honey or just killed the bees. For some reason it had never occurred to me that there was a hidden cache of honey, liquid gold, inside the walls of my parents' home. This revelation kindled a little flame of pure greed in my soul: It would be nice to have that honey; I want that honey; I MUST have that honey.

At odd hours a little picture of the hidden honey treasure flashes into my brain, re-directing my thoughts into a sweet detour where I ponder such things as the nuances of flavor that these bees transport back to the hidden hive. Blackberry and Dandelion? How would that compare to Tupelo, Clover, or that favorite of the Greeks, Thyme?

Would I look fat(ter) in a bee suit?

How much mess will Emma make when she starts producing beeswax candles? That thought gives me true pause as I remember Emma reading me a story just two days ago from one of her Threads magazines about using wax to batik fabric. I sense danger on every side.

Oddly, Herb brought me back a new honey dispenser last week from his trip to San Antonio. The book I requested two weeks ago, Gregor Mendel's Experiments on Plant Hybrids: A Guided Study came in this week, and it said that Mendel not only experimented with peas, he also hybridized bees and had a beehouse built behind the monastery. He loved bees so much that he had a barren hilly area planted with flowers for them. He had a beehive painted on the ceiling of the monastery's Great Chapter Hall.

I think of the similarities between a monastery and a beehive. I see them as part of God's plan. I see the good, the true, and the beautiful.

I contrast this thought with the fact that bees are actually extinct in parts of China from pesticide use. All pollination is done by hand. The Communists believe man is God.

Save the bees!

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