Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wes Goes West

Peace Bee Farm will be short one person, at least for a while. Wes Underhill just graduated from Arkansas State University with a master’s degree, and now he will be leaving for Pullman, Washington to continue his education. He will be working toward a doctorate degree at Washington State University. I will be traveling with Wes to Pullman to help him with the move and visit the American West together. Our entire family is quite proud of Wes’ accomplishments, and he will be truly missed.

I have checked all of the bee yards, and I know they are in good condition to be left alone in my absence. I know of no queen-less colonies, and all of the hives have an adequate number of boxes to handle brood or honey expansion. The bees will spend the next couple weeks curing summer honey. When I return, I expect to have a considerable amount of surplus honey to harvest. Wes, in the photo with Rita, enjoys selling our honey at farmers markets; and he used the bee farm as a means of helping pay for his college education. He has quite a following of loyal customers and friends among the other farmers. I always enjoy having Wes along when called to capture a swarm of bees. Whenever I go for a swarm, I think back about the time that Wes held the base of an extension ladder while I worked with a bait trap high in a tree. A swarm of honey bees flew into the tree, covering me. I held the bait trap in my hands until all of the bees entered into it in an orderly fashion. In a few minutes, I was able to climb down with the now heavy box holding a large colony of bees. I never saw that coming, literally. I’ll be back at the bee farm in a while with a backlog of short pieces to share. Wes will keep in touch via the internet.

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