Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm Just the Chaufeur

That's what he said that first night that we went to the bee meeting.

It was last spring and we were new to the group. We were asked to introduce ourselves. I said I was interested in becoming a beekeeper and Dad said, "I'm just the Chauffeur".

I think someone thought I needed driving around because I actually got an offer for a ride to the next meeting (which just shows you how friendly and helpful beekeepers are). Thanks Dad. Now everyone thinks I can't drive.

I thought he'd come to one or two meetings and then stop coming. But most of the members in the bee group are his age and most come from an agricultural/farming background just like he did. So there's a connection and a rapport there that he enjoys (and he keeps winning the 50/50 draw!).

Beekeeping was supposed to be my hobby but with moral support from the family. Then I had an accident last spring and broke my arm.

I needed more than moral support, I needed someone who could lift heavy boxes when I wasn't allowed to. Dad fit the bill.

Wearing his thick sweatshirt and even thicker gloves, and a hat and veil, he came to almost every visit to the bee yard. At first it was because my arm was broken. Then later it was just because it was nice to have someone lift the heavier boxes.

Then one day he said he was a beekeeper and it became "we" instead of "me".

He was the assigned the tasks as smoker person, and heavy deep lifter. He'd even hold frames of bees, albiet with gloves on.

Then everything changed this spring. I did the work on the first hive, with him watching, and him assisting. Then we'd switch and he'd do the work and I'd assist. Mom would come out too and be the papparatzi--otherwise there'd be no photos.

Recently though I heard Dad call the second hive, the one he works on, "his hive". Now it's "your hive" and "my hive". And he doesn't want me doing the work on "his hive". He wants to do it.

And last week, the gloves came off! Oh yeah, we have another beekeeper in the family.
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