This past weekend we took the plunge. I took the boys to a bee keeping class an hour away. It was scheduled to be three hours long. It went longer. At the two hour mark, I offered to leave early and get the rest of the information to review at home. There were no other children there. At ten, Boy two was deemed the youngest student the classes had seen. I don’t think they were flush with a history of thirteen year olds either.
I wondered if the boys would be intimidated by the six or so other adults. In things like getting cookies or choosing seats, they were. The minute things turned to bees, they didn’t even remember the other people were in the room. Boy two was raising his hand, asking questions, and offering his own ideas. I tried to kick him quiet with my toe, but before my foot touched him, it turns out he was saying the right answer.
When our delightful fourth generation, all organic bee keeper and teacher, took us out to open up a hive and look at the bees, Boy two was actually dancing. Boy one was motionless, watching every move she made.
If you want to go now, we can, said Boy one when I asked.
No way, said Boy two. I’m not missing anything. This is awesome.
Which probably makes you think there were bells and whistles instead of an off the cuff, slightly meandering, but very experienced beekeeper in her sixties. Boy two jiggled his foot and fiddled with knick knacks. Whenever there was a chance to walk around, both were up and moving. We went to the class with my provisos about not a done deal. If the bees seemed too complicated, the class too long, the whole thing too much work, anything, we could go home and call it a day.
We were the last to leave. We left with a book, equipment, and two hives to paint and set up in preparation for our bees which will arrive mid-June. For the way home, Boy two was squished in the back seat with hive parts beside him, at his feet, and on his lap. Boy one was in similar straights in the front. The car was peaceful; the boys content.
I know I don’t show it like Boy two, said Boy one. But I’m really, really excited about this. Thanks for taking us to the class today.
I smiled relieved that I was right. It was his intent look, I’d been watching all afternoon, not his polite one.
The bees are a win-win in my mind. In the best case scenario, the kids love it, we get honey, they get money, and my apple trees get pollinated. In the worst case scenario, we try it, the bees don’t work for us to upkeep, so we stop with the hope that in a small way, we added to the honey bee population on the farm.
I’ve already started looking at recipes if we make it until the honey comes.