I am gratified by a few lovely responses to my last post about bees. I have always loved them — OK, at first for their looks, I admit — and have frequently populated my tapestries with bees. They keep the surface lively and we know that they have deeply important lives, as we humans assume we have as well.
Last week Ben successfully installed a new queen. Unlike our own political elections, the hive is a matriarchal monarchy, but inserting a new queen when the old one has died is a tricky business. I am still astonished that you receive bees through the US mail! She arrives in a little box with a wire screen lid and four attendants. The exit door is blocked by a sugar cube which provides nourishment. They help her eat through that to freedom once installed the hive, and presumably they escort and defend her on arrival. It takes a while for her subjects to accept her. (A good topic for Obama’s first 100 days!) The first new queen didn’t get out of the box: t hey all tragically died inside, but queenie #2 (#3 if you count the first queen who died) is happily installed & laying her 2000 eggs per diem now. What a job!
Summer arrived abruptly this week and I have summer fever — the air is wonderful! and a fresh desire to get to the loom. First I must go to install some tapestries for an exhibition at St Meinrad’s Archabbey in southeastern Indiana, tomorrow. A very interesting place. More soon.
(the tapestry shown is Big Sunflowers from a number of years ago; it is a good example of bees in my work)
Wow! You are back at it! I still don’t have a clear enough brain for a post quilt show post… Glad you made it home OK and it sure was a pleasure to meet you!
I forgot to mention that Claudia and John had also stopped by my booth. I had no idea they were in New Harmony! They have always been on my “favorite people in the whole wide world” list. It was really nice to know that you are also a part of their lives.
On bees, do you guys know anything about the possible connection of cell phones to the dissemination of bee colonies? Just curious to know whether anything knew had been found on that. I saw some in my yard a couple of days ago which made me happy. Saw a wasp, too, which is not so happy…
I heard a book on tape that was excellent. The story was about a white girl who went to find her mother’s story and all she had was a label from a honey jar. She does find the town and the beekeeper who happens to be a large, warm, Black woman. The beekeeper and bees nurture the girl back into happiness. Takes place in the south somewhere and was very good.
That book would be The Secret Life of Bees, a wonderful read. Made into a movie maybe 6 months ago, which wasn’t quite so good.
I don’t know about bees & cell phones, so many rumors about what is causing hive collapse. But a good reason to listen to the real buzz rather than the one on the phone!