Monday, April 21, 2008

Still licking my chops

Whenever possible, Bob and I attend the monthly beekeeping meetings. This motley crew of 75-100 beekeepers are mostly hobbyists with a few hives. Some are sideliners that actually make a profit from their bees but they have other jobs. The good leaders of the group benevolently share their knowledge and secrets to promote the hobby and truly want others to be successful. At this particular meeting there was an informative video on installing bee packages. There was also a book review on a book published in 1956 called, The Queen Must Die. The reviewer gave the book anywhere from a 1 ½ to a 4 on a scale of 5 and called on his 23 year old daughter to give her opinion. She rated the book at a 1 ½ but they had four books that they hoped would sell that night. Also we learned how to make beeswax lotion and furniture polish for sideliners to add to their repertoire. Bob always comments on the way home, “Now that was a slice of life.”

At the last meeting a guest gave a 10 minute presentation in 45 minutes of how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs. You may wonder as I did how this got into the agenda but here is the correlation. The lady used beeswax to make her eggs. It doesn’t take much. She passed around her first tries at making the eggs and her second that was so much better. Then she passed eggs of several patterns and colors that were taught to her by her mentor that had recently died. Lastly she passed around her very best egg--her favorite of all—that she wished she could show her teacher/mentor. It took her many hours and many days to do it. I could not believe that she was passing it but she did and yes, that was the one egg that broke. It was quite sad! I do want to clear this up though, it wasn’t I that broke it or Bob. Whew!

The secretary told about his great joy when his wife was reading the paper and she found an ad and “Guess what?” It was the ad for the beekeeping meeting that he, himself had put in the paper. It made his day when his wife found that! He guessed the ad was working also, by the great attendance that night.

At the break in the meeting, someone accidently kicked the table for the coffee and other drinks. Whoever had set the table up had forgotten to lock the legs so the table collapsed spilling a 64 cup decaf coffee pot and two 32 cup pots of regular coffee and hot water and some kind of honey sweetened drink on the floor. I promise that I was not even close to the table at the time of the accident.

You probably understand by now that this is not an ostentatious group which is why I had the courage to make a beehive cake and bee cookies for refreshments. I knew that the cake was pretty much a stretch and looked like it had been created by a 2nd grader. But some of the beekeepers look a bit disheveled themselves and some come in bib overalls and I was hoping that most of the cake would be cut and not noticeable. I was pretty proud of the cookies. One gentleman asked me a couple of questions and I thought he was inquiring how I assembled the cookies. I explained that I used Keebler shortbread cookies for the bottom and then blue frosting and marshmallows for the wings and a Twix mini candy bar for the body. He astutely said, “I can see that but what are they? Butterflies?” Oh my goodness and we were at a beekeeping meeting! I ate humble pie all weekend.
I did win one of the door prizes--a box of 24 eight ounce honey jars with lids. That sort of helped.

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