Dear Blog Reader
I hope that this finds you doing well. It leaves my keyboard trying to come to terms with being beatified. No one more was more surprised than I. My sect is not big on saintly things. I had no aspirations to sainthood but there I was earning my wings like Clarance in “It's a Wonderful Life.”
I learned of my spiritual promotion on the way home from work the other night. I was in the process of stealing (no the irony isn’t lost on me) several copies of Branches from the self service paper dispenser at work. Branches is a small freebie newspaper published semi monthly here in Indianapolis. Based on their advertising, I am assuming that their target audience is New Age believers. With that kind of spiritual pedigree, I am assuming that they have the expertise to make judgements about the hierarchical ranking of spiritual beings.
So yes, I was taking several papers from the dispenser to shred up to feed to my worm farm that I keep in the garage. They do yeomen’s work chewing up our compost. I take the newspapers and grind them up into bite size nuggets. This balances out the carbon-nitrogen levels that make my worms very happy. I figure that the stealing is actually a good thing. At least, I justify that stealing in this case is a good thing. Everyone is helped all around. Branches can charge a higher ad rate to “Classes at New Age People” because the readership is so high. The paper’s aren’t ending up in the landfill. And the worms benefit from the karmic bs. It is a win win win.
Right there on the front of the July - August 2017 edition, are a bunch of bee keepers with angel wings. I never studied iconography in school but even I could get the picture with their graphical representations. Beekeepers are doing the Lord’s work. I am a beekeeper. Therefore, I am doing the Lord’s work; hence the spiritual promotion. No one was more surprised that I. I went to work that morning, a worker bee in my cubicle, can came out a beekeeping angel. Who knew?
Actually, I am not much of a beekeeper. I have an expensive hobby that involves keeping boxes with frames of wax foundation. Some bees hang out and do what they do. I know that there are beekeepers out there who are in their hives every other week from April through September. They are searching for the queen, treating for parasitic mites, and naming all of the new larvae. They know every time that pesticides are being sprayed in a four county radius. They are harvesting honey after the spring flow and the fall flow (if there is enough nectar). There are even beekeepers who make hard candy to put in the hive to help the bees get through the winter. These people are keeping bees. I just happen to know where some bees hang out.
These are all important tasks. They make the hive stronger and less prone to sudden hive collapse. That is a good thing. The fewer hives that collapse the more bees we will have. And since flowers are horrible at unaided sex, the more bees that we have the more flower sex there is and hence more fruits and vegetables. Some predict that the world order is threatened by the factors that contribute to sudden hive collapse. Beekeepers by their actions help or single handedly prevent civilization’s collapse. You deserve those wings buddy. Saving the world through flower sex is certainly more important than what that chump Clarence did by massaging the space time continuum while Jimmy Stewart got his head right. Let the bells ring I say.
I have a theory about why the bees are having trouble. Bees forage for pollen in a three mile radius from the hive. That is a lot of space to cover with those little tiny wings. Who watched bees for long enough to figure that out? And how did the researcher know that one bee flew that far? What if you were watching a bee and he flew close to another bee that was whose hive was a mile and a half away. The researcher got confused which bee they were supposed to be watching and switched their focus mid flight so that bees really only fly a mile and a half. I know difficult right. But I digress. So bees can supposedly forage up to 3 miles away for pollen. There should be plenty of pollen by any standard to keep a hive flourishing with in a circle that large.
But wouldn’t it be better if the pollen were closer? What would happen if we let the dandelions take over our yards and the bees only had to fly 7 feet to get pollen instead of three miles? The same principle applies in our every day lives. Let’s say you had an option of keeping your refrigerator in your kitchen or in Aunt Betty’s kitchen 3 miles away. Sure you could get in the car or on your bike and navigate the three miles for the sandwich fixings. You could survive on that. But would you get all fat and sassy that way. Heck no! You would get your sandwich made, get it back to the house, sit down at the table, say a little prayer and then cuss because you forgot to put any mayo on your roast beef sandwich.
Are you going to get up from the table and get all of the way over to Aunt Betty’s house for a little dab of mayo? NO! No mayo is going to make you skinnier. And forget about a mid-evening ice-cream sundae. You aren’t going to get fat and happy doing that. No you are going to be skinny and puny and won’t have much energy for that birds and the bees thing. In short, if your refrigerator is kept three miles away your hive is going to collapse. So I get out there and plant as many high pollen plants that I can. I encourage that first flush of dandelions in the spring and keep planting buckwheat until 3 weeks before frost in the fall. We have mint plants, sunflowers, white clover through out the front yard. Yes, Sharritt Farms is a fat bee paradise. We have “caution o-bee-se in the area” signs posted all around the farm. Sharritt bees have it good.
Am I doing the Lord’s work? I have my doubts. It is important to not read too much into all of the little things we do that just happens help a little bit. I think the world suffers because we beatify the little things; things that just have to be done. It probably started with participation trophies in little league. Yeah, we need to get in there, do our best, play hard, and pay attention. We have to do that for the health of the team and for that matter for our own enjoyment. But that doesn’t make us a star. Bee keeping doesn’t make me a saint. It doesn’t even make me a good person.
It just makes me a guy who loves a little honey in his tea.