Monthly Archives: February 2007

I’ve Got Hives…

So now more about our fence and it’s impact on world ecology…

Bob, our construction-adept neighbor, found a beehive in our fence and had to suspend work. Bees don’t like vibrations, and with all the hammering and stuff, poor Bob was worried about getting stung. Luckily the bees were the placid, peaceful kind, not the killer African hybrids or we might be at Bob’s funeral right now!

Discovery of the beehive required a decision to be made – how to remove the hive? I called the city. No, they do not come out to remove bees from private property. Was the hive on any public property? No? Then here’s the name of the bee removal company the city uses…The Bee Man.

I talked to the Bee Men, who apparently come out in their bee suits and spray poisons or gases at the bees to kill them and eradicate their homes. I was very uncomfortable with this option; the bees weren’t hurting anyone, it felt wrong to destroy them. I happened to ask if there was any way to move the bees without killing them. Voila! They gave me the name of a local beekeeper.

Bob (yes, yet another Bob) the Beekeeper came out, inspected the hive and pronounced it viable for transfer to his apiary (that is what a commercial beehive is called). Amazingly, Bob the Beekeeper approached the large hive with absolutely no trepidation and no bee suit. I asked him how many times he’d been stung in his career and to my surprise he said not too many. He actually stuck his fingers into the bustling hive and touched some of the bees! They didn’t even flinch.

He decided to take the bees back to his apiary. Unfortunately we weren’t at home when Bob the Beekeeper came back, so I missed the spectacle of hive removal (else I would have some cool pics for this blog). He gave us some honey from our hive, wax and all!

Later when we went shopping at Mother’s Market, we saw Beekeeper Bob’s products for sale in the honey aisle! It was fun to know the person the honey came from. One day the honey from our bees may show up on that market’s shelves!

I feel very good about the choice we made. There are too many poisons in our environment already, and too many people opting for destruction of wildlife rather than working with it.

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Beekeeper Bob left us with some interesting bee facts:

Bees only live 5 to 6 weeks. That’s why the queen lays thousands of eggs at a time.

Beekeeper Bob’s friend was a bee consultant for the movie “Ulee’s Gold” (with Peter Fonda). He told us that his friend trimmed the stingers off 5000 bees to make them safe for the actors to interact with. So all those swarms of bees in the movie were “stinger eunuchs”!

After having a beehive removed, you must seal the area with paint because roving bees will smell the remnants of the lost hive and re-establish it. Bees have extremely sensitive smell organs.


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Bob

I mentioned in passing a few months ago that a severe windstorm had blown down a portion of our fence.

We share common fence with 6 neighbors, so everytime there’s a mini-disaster, we get together with the involved neighbor and hope that a fair and equitable deal can be worked out and that the neighbor will actually want to fix the fence without any coaxing on our part. We’ve never had a problem with any of our neighbors in this regard and Bill and I were talking about how lucky we felt to be part of this neighborhood.

Anyway, this time the part of our fence that gave up the ghost was a part that’s been standing unmolested for 18 years; consequently we had never met the neighbor attached to that part of the fence. To our delight, we became acquainted with Bob, a French man who has been our neighbor the whole time we’ve lived here and we had no idea who he was. A tall, large boned, blue-eyed fellow in his 60’s, Bob arrived at our front door one weekend and offered to build the fence back himself if we would pay for half of the materials cost. We agreed to this and offered to pay for his labor as well, but Bob would have none of it.

“I have a lot of time to kill so I don’t mind doing it” he said in his delightful French accent. He subsequently said that he wasn’t married, but since he also mentioned having children, I can only deduce that he is a widower living alone. I began to feel a little sorry for Bob and wanted to “adopt” him. I invited him over to have dinner with us. He thanked me effusively, but refused. He refuses to accept gifts of wine, gift cards, or being taken out for dinner as a thank you for his fence construction efforts. I became mildly frustrated until I realized that I was feeling bad for myself – I wanted to do something for this nice fellow and he did not want me to. At this point I realized that it became about me – I wanted to do something nice for him, but it was not something he wanted.

And besides, who am I to feel sorry for him? We cannot assume that just because someone lives alone that they are unhappy. Though my motives were pure, I made a judgment that was not necessarily true.

So as the final fence posts are set in place, I realize that I will probably never see Bob again until the fence blows down again, which is unlikely in his lifetime. I regret not getting to know him better.

Sometimes you can only give by not giving.

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Emotional Protection

I got this in the “Daily Om” email offering I receive daily and wanted to pass it on to you guys. It’s important info in this day and age with so many conflicts everywhere.
Choosing Not To Be A Target (borrowed from The Daily Om)
Emotional Attacks

Hurtful confrontations often leave us feeling drained and confused. When someone attacks us emotionally, we may wonder what we did to rouse their anger, and we take their actions personally. We may ask ourselves what we could have done to compel them to behave or speak that way toward us. It’s important to remember that there are no real targets in an emotional attack and that it is usually a way for the attacker to redirect their uncomfortable feelings away from themselves. When people are overcome by strong emotions, like hurt or anguish, they may see themselves as victims and lash out at others as a means of protection or to make themselves feel better. You may be able to shield yourself from an emotional attack by not taking the behavior personally. First, however, it is good to cultivate a state of detachment that can provide you with some protection from the person who is attacking you. This will allow you to feel compassion for this person and remember that their behavior isn’t as much about you as it is about their need to vent their emotions.

If you have difficulty remaining unaffected by someone’s behavior, take a moment to breathe deeply and remind yourself that you didn’t do anything wrong, and you aren’t responsible for people’s feelings. If you can see that this person is indirectly expressing a need to you-whether they are reaching out for help or wanting to be heard-you may be able to diffuse the attack by getting them to talk about what is really bothering them.

You cannot control other people’s emotions, but you can control your own. If you sense yourself responding to their negativity, try not to let yourself. Keep your heart open to them, and they may let go of their defensiveness and yield to your compassion and openness.

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Down for the Count

Hey guys, sorry for my lack of posts, but I’ve been sick since the weekend. I thought I escaped illness this year when most of my family got sick at Christmas and I did not.

But, alas, I caught some kind of cold/flu hybrid with fever, sore throat, and many multiple visitations to the bathroom. Also I think I will be buying stock in the Kleenex company.

I’m getting better, but I may need another day or two to get my illness-addled brain back together. Hope you guys are all doing well!!

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Wordless Wednesday #9

Funny Pictures

(Is that Donny Osmond?)

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Winkle, Toy Consultant for Hire

I felt the need to post another parrot photo since I keep getting such cute pictures!

This is Winkle, a Canary-Winged parakeet of the Brotogeris species owned by Karen in Maine. Winkle loves toys, as you can see by the stash in his tent! And inside the cage too! Some birds are actually scared of new things in their cages, but not Winkle. Karen says he is considering a career in toy consulting for those birds who are scared of their toys.

Obviously he enjoys bathing also – as you can see he just indulged before this photo was taken.

Thanks for sharing Winkle with us, Karen!

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Late Happy Valentine’s Day

I wasn’t going to have a Valentine’s Day post, but then a gal in my Yahoo broto list sent out this photo of her Grey Cheek Snooky and I couldn’t resist posting it!

Snooky belongs to Ann Tetrault, who graciously allowed me to use her photo here.

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