My elder brother Adam has been pestering about rearing honey bees for quite sometimes now and my more financial savvy siblings voted that out. i guess they're right, making money from beekeeping alone will not suffice, especially when done in a small scale. a hobby, yes. entrepreneurship, no. but, think about the novelty of having fresh honey all year long. that's another reason why i should pace up in opening up my retreat center eh? more reason to plant flowers and exotic trees.
Having read Fruitless Fall by Rowan Jacobsen, i urge you to do the same. read this book. its a fascinating read. click on the link and read the introduction.
Last year, i'd read Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees and didn't really grasp the idea of that sacredness of bees.
The southern part of our kampung house's wall used to be a home for bees. they lived within the cavities of outer and inner wall. our dad, concerned for our safety tried to chase them away by smoking them out. he got more than a puffy eyes for the act. the bees stayed for a few more years. during their tenure, the fruit trees around the house bore more fruits than the ones at our orchard. the sweet-sour pahu (bacang) were so heavy, our mom didn't mind people came by and plucked the young fruits. our late grandpa used to say that a house housing bees is a blessed house.
Walking out of the house with a swarming bees was a little terrifying at first (our gate was facing southwards) but, after a while, we get used to the bees buzzing at early morning and late afternoon. our mom set rules concerning bees: 1. never to purposely step on/kill them, 2. whenever one accidentally stepped on/kill a bee, apologize, 3. avoid walking to a swarming bees, 4. if unavoidable, keep calm walking through. i don't remember anyone in the family ever encountered trouble with those bees, except for the heroic part my dad was featured earlier. as for other people, stories of them got stung by 'our' bees were quite a number. 'our' bees guarded our house better than our dogs.
i leave home in 1997 for my study and not aware when the bees leave us. maybe, its sometime during the built up of my dad's 'cave' and the clearing up of our numerous trees around the house. i have fond memories of bees. Pong, remember those fresh honey dad got for us, himself (bertong-tong), remember Asael's allergic to tanak potiukan? and us got stung by tompipiris?
Mr. Jacobsen of Vermont, honey, thank you for your book. i'd read some books but, few i hold very dear to my heart. yours one of those selected few.