Yesterday, between trips to Kroger’s and Lowe’s for groceries and household hardware, respectively, we made a quick stop at the Garland County Library, where my wife dropped off a couple of books and picked up a few more. While she was searching the stacks for her target books, I thumbed through some how-to books in the promotions area. Two books, in particular, caught my thumbs’ attention: one on home renovations/remodeling and one on beekeeping.
I checked out the home renovations book to allow me to skim the publication at home, at my leisure. I spent most of my time in the library captivated by the book on beekeeping. As I scanned the pages of the book, I learned about some of the equipment and materials needed to keep bees; frames, hive bodies, moisture boards, beekeeper clothing like hoods and veils, smokers, spacing tools, honey house extractors…and on and on.
I also learned that purchased queen bees are shipped to buyers in tiny cages with a hole, blocked with a cork, on one end. Upon receipt, the beekeeper carefully removes the cork and replaces it with a marshmallow before placing the queen in the hive with worker bees. By the time the queen and workers chew through the marshmallow from opposite directions, they typically will have acclimated to one another; absent that time for acclimation, the queen is apt to be killed by workers.
Between the two books, the one that fascinated me most was the one on beekeeping. So, why did I check out only the one on home renovations? I am a more practical man than some might imagine; keeping bees where I live would be an invitation to conflict with neighbors, and quite likely with my wife. Plus, learning the intricacies of beekeeping solely through books and videos and “on-the-job” trial and error is a path full of dangerous potholes. Most importantly, though, is that I am entirely unsure whether my immediate enchantment with beekeeping would survive even a single chapter of focused reading. That’s my new (or newish) wisdom; my immediate fascination with any subject tends to wash away in short order.