he other day I showed you our little Fairy House in the Catalpa tree and mentioned that we were doing some work around the tree. There’s more to the story. Many of you know that, for as long as we’ve lived here, there have been honey bees who lived in the Catalpa tree. Thousands of them hovered around a big opening in the tree, peacefully flying back and forth, making honey and we all got on swimmingly. Until last year. Early last spring, we noticed a bee aggressively flying at Don when he was in the dog corral which was at least 15 feet away from the tree. We wondered about it but shrugged it off as a one-time bizarre occurrence.
Later that summer, when I came back from Wisconsin, it became obvious that something was wrong when I was repeatedly attacked if I got too near the tree, especially if I was mowing the lawn. I was stung more than once. It got so bad that we couldn’t mow the lawn on that side of the property.
So we consulted a bee keeper named Chris Harp. Chris is a true lover of nature and bees and tends hives for many people throughout the Hudson Valley. He is also a teaches workshops on beekeeping. He is a gentle soul and reminds me of a character out of an Agatha Christie mystery set in the British countryside. Chris came and looked at the hive and promptly got stung on the lip. He was shocked because honeybees just don’t do that. An African Bee strain had evidently been bred in the current batch of bees – they weren’t fully African bees, or I would have been stung to death – and they were so aggressive that they would have to be killed. We put that off because of the money it would cost and also because of concerns about the tree. If we were to put some sort of poison in the tree to kill the bees, would it kill our Catalpa? Plus, I hated the idea of killing them. We ended up steering clear of that part of the yard.
Fast forward to the present. I have been keeping an eye on the tree ever since it started getting warm and I hadn’t seen any bee activity. Don called Chris, who said if that was the case, the bees didn’t make it through the winter. I was greatly relieved and grateful that they died naturally. He told us to cover the holes with window screen mesh to discourage some new bee scout from attempting to set up camp there. So, besides cutting away brambles, that’s what we were doing that day by the Catalpa.
Chris came by last night and brought a bee box with him. His idea is to see if any bees are attracted to the wax in the tree and the wax in the box. If they are, they will start to fly in and out of the box and I am to call Chris and he will come collect them. That way he gets some bees for his work and any possible interlopers go to the box and not the tree. We get the benefit of his time and expertise and he gets some bees. A good trade.
The bee box has to be placed so that it is fairly elevated and facing in a southeasterly direction. So we put it up on our non-working car. And there it is.
Chris is such a neat guy, with so much fascinating information about bees to share. Don said talking to Chris about the social life of bees; the hierarchy, the fights, the queen, reminds him of a Shakespearean plot loaded with royalty and betrayal and battles – and he’s right. Chris travels around in his van with his faithful shepherd, Maggie, at his side. I could talk to him for hours. We’re indeed fortunate to know Chris. We need more nature lovers like him.
As for Pinterest:
es, I got the email from Pinterest about their updated Terms of Service, but I see nothing in the document that addresses my primary concern, that of copyright infringement and the fact that we (the users) are liable for any copyright infringement, not Pinterest. Pinterest has clarified that they are not going to sell any pinned images. They’ve made it easier to file a complaint about copyright infringement. But there’s nothing there about the biggest concern that bloggers seem to have (including myself.)
I’ve seen a couple of posts celebrating the changes. If the changes listed above were the ones troubling these bloggers, then that’s great. However, make sure you read the entire document. Yes, Pinterest is responding positively to certain complaints, and that’s to be applauded, but they haven’t addressed the biggest one yet. Perhaps they are planning to in the future? Here’s hoping they are.
And one more thing about Etsy:
have this idea. Would those of you who have ordered scarves or shawls from our Etsy shop consider sending a photo of yourself wearing the scarf? I’d love to collect them for a post and I know seeing you in our creations would just tickle Meredith and me. If you’re willing, we’d be so grateful. You can send it to me at the email address on my sidebar. Thank you, thank you!