The husband and I spent this past weekend in Maine. Darren’s dad runs a bee pollination business taking boxes and boxes of honey bees to the farmers to make sure their crops are pollinated and ready to produce yummy, beautiful fruit. We go up twice a year—once in the spring and again in the fall to help Darren’s dad load and unload the bees off the truck. The bees have a pretty posh life—they get to spend the spring and summer in Maine when the weather is warm and lovely but never quite hot or humid. Then when the air gets crisp and the leaves begin to turn, the spoiled honey bees get loaded in their bee boxes back onto the truck and are whisked away to do a little tanning in Florida for the winter. You wouldn’t want them getting too cold, you know :]
With spring’s early arrival, the farmers are edgy and impatient about having the bees brought early just in case the blossoms go by quickly. You can’t blame them—if the blossoms aren’t pollinated, the crops will be lost. So as soon as the bees were pulled off the truck from Florida, the boys loaded them right onto another truck to begin deliveries. Here’s Darren driving the truck:
My father-in-law wanted to know if I wanted to ride along with them to make the deliveries—I love riding along so I jumped in the truck between him and Darren. The boys were rushing around trying to make sure they had everything they needed for the trip. My father-in-law asked me: Kari, what are we going to forget? Something important, I say. Something critical, he says. Oh well, we pile in the truck and are off. We get several miles down the road and my father-in-law says, The map. We forgot the map. Darren asks his dad if he knows where we’re going and how to get there? I hope so, says my father-in-law and we just keep on going. After lots of guessing and a couple of turnarounds, we made every delivery.
I love riding around with the boys. To avoid taking the time to stop and eat, they munch on gas station fare all day—I had a Twix, a Rice Crispy Treat, an ice cream cone, and my favorite pizza from Papa Johns—why wouldn’t I ride along for all that? :]
Here’s Darren zipping around in the Bobcat moving bee hives into an apple orchard.
When the boys were at each delivery stop, I sat in the truck and ate up a couple more pages of Walden Pond. I didn’t want to risk getting stung, you know, and it was really cold out too! I took pictures from inside the truck to avoid getting stung–see Darren in the mirror?
Here’s a cranberry bog with berries from last year taking a dip. Darren’s dad helps pollinate the cranberries used by Ocean Spray so if you’ve ever tasted Ocean Spray then maybe just maybe you’ve tasted some of his bee’s hard work.
After all the work was done, Darren and I took off for a little date in Freeport. We walked around the outdoor shops and wandered through the flagship L.L. Bean store drooling over rich people camping gear. Here’s Darren with the giant Bean Boot (he has a real pair of Bean Boots that look just like this…um, only smaller).
We are busy. The bees are busy. Life is just as busy as the busy little bees.