Hive-Mind

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My Secret Army

Good news via Boing Boing today for my plan to use bees as secret assassins. You see, I’ve been spending long nights laboring over my proof of concept implementation of a beehive-based burglar alarm system. In this sytem, a hive of bees would be positioned over a doorway such that the bees could come and go to the outside at their whim but not to the inside…that is, until an unsuspecting burglar or other ne’er-do-well tries to break down the door. Then, the beehive bottom falls open over their heads and releases my 20,000+ attack bees, who sting the hell out of the unsuspecting fool.

Well, the thing about my beehive-based burglar alarm system (patent pending, mister, so don’t even try it!) is that it would ineffective if I wanted to undertake some larger goal, such as assassinating the pope. Now, please people, do not get the wrong idea. I don’t actually want to assassinate the pope, despite his unconscionable opinions on homosexuality, contraception and abortion, any more than I want to assassinate the president, no matter how sure his incompetence is responsible for thousands of needless deaths or that he is damning the planet to irreversible climate change by ignoring the growing threat of the Greenhouse Effect.

 Scipage Images Beelookingface2No, my point is that if someone were more inclined to take matters into their own hands, it’s a difficult problem. The Pope travels around in his Popemobile, and the president always has a screen of security guards in front of him, so if someone did want to harm one of these guys, it would be really hard. Unless, that is, you are an army of trained attack bees! Oh, sure, you laugh, but you won’t be laughing when you learn that scientists at the University of Cambridge have trained bees to recognize human faces!

First, the scientists paired up the faces with a sugary treat. Then, later, they found that the bees could pick out the particular faces they were trained on, coming back looking for their treat. As the scientists didn’t report what happened when they didn’t find the promised honey goodness, I am free to speculate that they stung the hell out of those smug fool’s faces! Don’t believe me? Read about it!

So, anyway, a lot of people ask me what my bees do during the winter. Usually, I tell people that they are smoking cigarettes and playing cards. Really, they mostly just huddle together for warmth and wait for Spring. Well, all that is about to change…

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Harvest!

The numbers are in and this year was a bumper crop. This year’s honey harvest weighed in at 190 lbs, filling a bit over 3 five gallon buckets. That, my friend, is a lot of honey.

What am I going to do with all that honey you may ask? Well, obviously I’ll put a lot of it in pint jars and give to friends and family (yes, you can have one, remind me next time you see me if I don’t have one in my hand for you), but I had another idea, as well. My friend Scott Simpson recently opened a restaurant (The Jones) with Jason Jones, a sous chef for The Herbfarm, one of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest. Michelle and I had drinks and appetizers there last week and the food was out of hand phenomenal, I had to stop chewing to just let the waves of pleasure wash subside.

Anyway, Scott said that if I brought him some honey, he’d put it on the menu. So I got to thinking how cool it would be to ask Jason to come up with a dish or dishes that week that would showcase the honey, then get a group of folks together and have dinner there, and enjoy the fruits of the girls’ labor. I dropped Scott and e-mail to see what he thought. I’m excited.

Sorry I don’t have more of a story about the honey harvest itself. Unlike last year, when Julie harvested it herself, this year I just dropped it off with Terry Beedle and had him take care of it for me. Terry’s quite a character, and I had the opportunity to bend a piece of rebar with my neck the same way Julie did last year, but otherwise the adventure was uneventful. Drive to Duvall, drop off boxes, drive back next day, pick up lots of honey and boxes of empty comb.

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