A few Saturdays ago I was fortunate enough to spend most of the day with Handsome’s colleague at the Commish, our good friend, and my new honey mentor… Maribeth. She’s a three-in-one fantastic person to know, and then some! Maribeth had invited me to visit Cripple Creek Farms with her for a beekeepers’ social gathering and hive diagnosis demonstration.
Cripple Creek is a privately owned farm near Guthrie, Oklahoma, where the proprietors Randy and Treasa Brady raise bees, goats, and chickens and grow peaches, vegetables, herbs, and more. They hosted us and a few dozen other bee keepers for coffee and donuts, tours, discussion, and then a wonderful outdoor lunch.They are just as lovely and hospitable as you can imagine, and I hope to return for an agri-tourism event soon! If you shop the Saturday morning farmer’s market in Edmond, look for their products.
I chose the magic and romance, big surprise.
Oh, and by the way, that day was also supposed to be the next official bee class at OSU, but I had the instructor’s blessing to skip class and attend this instead. You guys, the last time I skipped class it was because I hadn’t studied for something and I was looking over my shoulder the whole time!
The sky was cloudless. It glowed with that deep, bright color of old denim. The sun poured like warm butter all over my skin, all over the trees and all over every free range chicken and every blade of green grass. If there was any breeze that day, it was mild. Nearly undetectable.
She grew up on the side of the road
Once we all suited up and enjoyed a slow hay-and-trailer ride down to the bee yard, a couple of football fields away, we walked around cautiously.
Following our host I noticed a gradual increase in bee activity. The buzzing was a whisper at first, then it grew louder and more urgent, almost loud enough to sound amplified, like on a microphone.
But it was lulling, not terrifying at all. The communal hum was downright soothing. I wanted to lay in the grass and clover with the sun on my skin and sleep there or maybe read.
Do you know what’s amazing? The complexity of a bee colony. And the gentle industry.
Here, Randy was describing the usurping of a Russian queen bee
by an Italian one and the changing health of the remaining colony.
It’s very thought provoking.
Because of my reading material this spring,
the political implications were on the tip of my tongue.
The long, complicated, delicate process of honey production is possibly nearer to enchantment than even a seed breaking dormancy in the spring. Nature’s honey recipe is so uniquely beautiful and so filled with intricacy that the fact that we can not only impose ourselves into that process but also participate in it and even enhance it, well… I have no problem calling that a miracle. What a gift that God would allow us to be involved in this!