This is the twelfth in a series of posts on Happyday Farms, the CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) located up here on Bell Springs Road, run by Casey, Amber, Lito and Courtney.
I have a tendency at times to become overwhelmed by factors over which I have no control. I have been reading about the decimation of the bees by the poisons of corporate America, and I have no point of reference. Up here on the ridge, there is no shortage of bees.
Until it came down in a windstorm about a dozen years ago, there was a live oak tree of undetermined age, that grew straight upwards for about six feet, before making a sharp bend over, and continuing upwards at about a ten degree angle, which meant there was a tremendous amount of oak tree, precipitously perched alongside our front redwood deck.
One fine spring day, a seemingly furious swarm of bees descended upon the area, and took up residence in this oak tree. I was dismayed. There were bees endlessly buzzing-lazily, I might add- around the front door to our house and I was constantly ill at ease at the very entrance to my own home.
Growing up, I had the usual panic at the immediate presence of bees, yellow-jackets or any kind of flying, stinging menace. This uneasiness around bees left me abruptly, when my friend and colleague, Brian Bowles, was up visiting on an unrelated matter.
Approaching the house, I warned him that there were bees, and explained about the new tenants of the oak tree. To my surprise, instead of sharing my concerns, he immediately asked if there were a ladder available so he could take a closer look. Of course, to me, that did not compute. I always wanted to get farther away.
Brian waved my fears aside, climbed up that ladder, did a little first-hand observing inside the hollow tree-trunk, and informed me that our bees were a strain of Italian bees, quite docile, and that I needn’t fear them in any way. In fact, he went on to inform me that bees were very capable of picking up on human emotions, and that they could discern if I were paranoid, or at ease.
Of course I was astonished. But I completely trusted Brian’s word and never once was left to regret it. I have subsequently taken hundreds of snapshots, up close and personal, wandering among the plethora of bees on the farm without any fear whatsoever.
Furthermore, I have taken camera in hand and gotten close-up pics of a swarm on the move, and lived to tell about it, stingless I might add.
However, the gold star goes to Casey, who actually maneuvered his way into the midst of a furious swarm, gently scooped up the queen and placed her in a cardboard box, and relocated her and her thousands of best friends. And he did it wearing a tee-shirt with no headgear.
Benny has it all on his phone video camera, and it’s the stuff of magic. I think of it as just another in a series of miracles, that occur daily here at Happyday Farms.
We need a hundred thousand Happyday Farms, each creating the same kind of miracles which go on every day of the year. Included in those daily miracles is the sweetest of all: It’s the miracle of dealing with “factors over which I have no control” by kicking butt and taking names, on so many different levels, it’s laughable.