The population of our homestead
…is increasing this April.
By 12,000 little black-and-yellow souls, to be as exact as one can be in these circumstances.
Little honeybees. They get here in April, and by post!
I hear the post office calls you at 6am when the day’s packages are delivered for sorting, and the one with your name on it is buzzing.
This feels so different than anything we’ve done before. Chickens and cats and tomato plants are dependent on us—we are an irreplaceable part of their little ecosystems. But bees belong to themselves. If you lure them in and house them somewhere with water and windbreak and early morning sun, they’ll stay on and go about their wild, complicated bee business all on their own.
I’m not sure you can love a chicken before you meet it– there’s not as much about the idea of a chicken that inspires reverence. But bees are so incomprehensibly complex and wonderful, you can love them even in the abstract. I am in love with the idea of bees.
We owe my father our thanks for this gift, and for the inclination that made it so welcome. I’m proud that there are bees in my family, and that proximity to beekeeping can increase one’s own predisposition. I’m also proud of Dad, our family’s first beekeeper, for being predisposed without any proximity at all.