The Keeper of the Bees.
- Drinking: Lattes from the best coffee spot in town, Local.
- Listening to: Radical Face.
- Wearing: Inspired by J. Crew lately, so I’m wearing a new pair of khaki slacks paired with a gray cardigan & giant oatmeal scarf.
Today, I’d like to tell you a little bit about beekeeping. Well, about beekeepers, that is.
Meet Barry & Barry, my father & my father’s father. Two men with more in common than a name, or similarly shaped ears & eyes. Their likeness extends to the very signals & sparks in their minds, twists & bends in their DNA, bruised thumbs & calloused hands & soft hearts.
They also share an affinity for picking up new tricks. Honey bees are only their latest in a long string of ventures.
It only makes sense that they would be attracted to the idea. There never were two men more attuned to the mind of a bee: Hard working, industrious, loyal, always looking out for their queens.
The bees buzz into the hive & they bumble back out. Carrying pollen between their mustard-stained knees & toes, they never stop moving.
My father has taught me more about work ethic than anyone else, & all he ingrained in me I know was first ingrained in him. Even as he slips into his ’70s, my grandfather never slows down. Sturdy as ever, he’s spent the last several years tearing down an old home & building his own sort of barn, the sugar shack, cultivating a garden, writing a book & being adviser to my father’s company.
Open up the hive & you’ll see them building body-bridges from comb to comb, relying completely on each other. There is no ego, no looking out for just me. It’s all about what’s best for the hive.
My father runs his own company, rarely takes a day off but never misses a thing by being caught working late. I’ve seen him make tough decisions, always siding with what’s right & what’s wise, even when it hurts. As I look to the beginning of my own career, I aim to become like him.
The bees buzz in & they bumble back out. Gently, gently, my father’s father & my father remove the racks from the hive, doused in a cloud of smoke, the smell of burning leaves, the sound of brush crunching below, the melody of fall.
They talk to the bees & to each other, this one is healthy. It’s starting to grow.
Gently, gently, they replace the lid.
The bees buzz in & they bumble back out, never distracted, never deterred.
Their ceaseless work is unwavering; their purpose immovable. My father & my father’s father are steady, unchanging.