Lining up the help

Since I’m partially incapacitated, thanks to whatever the hell I did to my back, I had to turn on the bat signal to get some labor for the ranch. My sister is coming over Friday to haul dirt around to the places I need it to fill in the frames I reconfigured so I can then curse my way through getting the driplines rerun for watering. My brother is coming up for the weekend, so he gets the job of reworking the stone ring around the pine tree in the driveway, which then will need to be filled with soil, which then will need to be seeded with some drought-tolerant flowers.

Speaking of flowers, I’ve decided we’ll have two hives out in the orchard, and one up at the front of the property where we have more fruit trees and of course the front garden. I’m hoping for some good pollination on both gardens, but really need to get out and put down flower seed in various places so it will be up and going by the time the bees arrive in mid-May.

Speaking of bees, I read a lot of news about bees, and there are always a couple of stories (at least) per week about a city/township working up ordinances about keeping bees. What’s amusing – and sad – about this from time to time are the people opposed to any beekeeping in their neighborhoods, citing the possibility of someone who is allergic to bees getting stung. It really makes me wonder just how much these people have thought things through (answer: not much). Hived bees are concerned about gathering what they need to live and protecting their hive. As long as you’re not pounding on the hive with a hammer, they’re very unlikely to do anything to you, preferring to be industrious and go about their business, which does not involve us all that much. I know this probably deals a blow to the human ego, but it’s quite true. Second, how exactly would you know you were stung by a bee from a particular hive and not a feral bee who may be protecting a home you’ve just stumbled into? Time after time in these articles, the point is made that in places where beekeeping is not expressly forbidden (and thus people are already doing it) there are really no complaints related to the safety of having the bees. Complaints raised by jackhole neighbors, however, who simply latch on to this as something to complain about, are a different story, and one article had an officer say the complaint they received was a “neighbor issue” not a “bee issue”.

Fortunately for us, these issues won’t be issues here. There are ordinances in place here, and based on those, we could theoretically have a ton of hives on the property. We also are unlikely to have any “neighbor issues” since the hives will be well away from the property lines, the neighbors to our immediate east are never home, and the rednecks have already been told we’re getting them – and of course, there are those sections of 6′ fence now between us and them, with more to come.

Can’t wait. Can’t wait. We’ll be filming the hiving of the bees when they get here, of course, if I can convince someone to put on a bee suit and do it.