Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back To School Shopping

I am off to Colonie (Albany) today, to take on the mall. Jerry (wisely) has decided to work with Dan today. The Bee Guys are working somewhere south of I90. I don't know where. Yesterday, they were at an old theater in Glens Falls (I think) that turned out to be a bust. After climbing up to the third floor and opening the hive access to release the bees, it became apparent very quickly that these bees were africanized. What does that mean you ask? Well, according to all of the press, Africanized bees have been slowly migrating to the US, and will eventually be a huge problem here. Right now, they are an intermittent problem. An occasional hive turns out to be africanized. What that means really is that it is just an incredibly nasty hive. Most honey bees don't want to be bothered with you. They will escape their hive and fly around nearby while a hive is being messed with. Africanized bees will chase you 200 yards down the road, stinging all the way, and still be aggressive and nasty when you are that far. It's not a nice hive to work with, and certainly not one you want to introduce into your bee yard. When the Bee Guys find an africanized hive, they walk away from the job. They will direct the customer to a different kind of bee guy. One with big guns. He (or she) will come in with chemicals and blow them right into the hive. The interest in saving the bees is no longer there. The interest is in eliminating those MF'ers and killing every last one. Organics be damned, you don't want Africanized bees. These jobs are when the most stings are received, and it is usually a painful day, in more ways then one. Walking away from a bee job is also financially not a happy day. No bees, no honey, no money for saving the day. Never a good thing. Allison and I are continually asking bee questions, and we both wanted to know how you can tell an Africanized Bee. There is no difference. No way! you say. Way! They look the same as your gentle and productive honey bee, just bitchier.
I know, I thought the same thing. I can be bitchy on occasion. Doesn't that apply to most of us? Are we to be destroyed after only one incidence of bitchy. I can't believe I'm defending the bees, but really, one chance? One shot at good behavior? Isn't that a little extreme? It is my understanding that if you remove the Africanized Queen (sure, blame the female leader) then the entire hive will revert to docile and productive honey bees in just a few days. Really? Just a few days? Like 4-7 days? Is anyone else being reminded of a cyclical bitchy mood swing that closely resembles this Africanized Hive? I realize that the clyclical bitchy mood swing to which I am referring is certainly inconvenient. However, death by chemicals is a little drastic. Has anyone tried a little wine in the sugar mixture that is offered to bees when the bloom is waning? Possibly some Midol dissolved into this same sugar blend? Why not chocolate? That usually soothes the worst type of "bad mood". I just might have hit on something here. The solution to the Africanized Bee threat to North America. Chocolate, wine and midol. Bear in mind that this solution is also organic. It's worth a shot.
I will be consuming massive quantities of this mixture as I escort our teenager to the world's most challenging endeavor -Back to school shopping. I will pack chocolate in my bag, as I may need to administer some type of medication to Allison as well. This gets ugly on occasion. Never maliciously. It is just something that we both must endure. A right of passage so to speak. Going shopping with your Mother is always second choice. Shopping with your friends is so much cooler. But I have the money. So, we must tolerate each other's drastically differing opinions as to what is cool, appropriate, and/or allowable. If it were up to me, she would still be wearing Polly Flinders dresses (If you don't know, never mind). I do know this is not an OK option, I am not crazy. But seeing her in the jeans and t-shirts that seem to be the style sets off some type of emotional crazyness in me that becomes irrational and uncool - some type of africanization. Maybe these hives are just a bunch of mother bees who need to take their drones back to school shopping. It's a stretch, I know. But if no one can come up with another answer, why not? It makes sense to me. Wine anyone? It's Five O'Clock somewhere.

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