Thursday, June 12, 2008

What NOT to wear beekeeping

I am glad I grew up learning the virture of frugality. I wear old clothes, we share a car between us, I save rubber bands, recycle paper printed on one side as scratch paper, and dozens of other little economies. Some other old fuddy-duddies and I were discussing the fact that several generations now inhabit the country neither suffered through the deprivations of the Depression nor were raised by those who had. I was raised by those who had. They didn't have a sense of suffering while they went through it, but rather adapted gracefully and since everyone else was in the same fix, got along just fine. At present there are a lot of people out who don't know how to economize - are stunned and indigent to learn that per ounce shredded cheese costs much more than brick cheese. "How can this be? Does the government know about this?!" This, from the same person who is toting along a hand-held device that could manage the finances of a small non-profit, entertain a small town and chart an uncharted forest.

Anyway, a couple years ago, I slipped on a favorite pair of old jeans, my canvas jacket and rubber boots and went out to the beeyard. I was going to mess with them and mess with them good, and I didn't think they would be very welcoming. They weren't. After a short while working the hives, I smelled the tell-tale ripe banana smell of their alarm pheromone, and continued on, grateful for my helmet and veil.
However. When bees are really, really pissed, they become heat-seeking strategic menances. I should not have worn these jeans:
Oh, yes. They got me. I kept these jeans because, well, they do what pants are supposed to do - they cover me modestly, are clean, protect my skin and they fit. Yes, they are in a little rough shape around the crotchetal area, but people aren't supposed to be looking there anyway. I no longer wear these pants beekeeping, except in the winter when I am checking on the hives. I will keep them until they are indecent, and then I will do what I did with my old jean when I was a kid - sew them into my own design of swimsuit or ravishing, wide-sleeved jacket, trimmed with ribbon.
The bees need no forgiveness for this intimate attack. They were doing what bees must do. I laugh off my foolishness and forgive myself. I was doing what I must do - learning from my mistakes.

1 comment:

twinsetellen said...

Hah! I remember a similar accident in "Hit by a Farm", don't I? Except I think it involved an electric fence. I'm not sure which one I'd choose!