A Year of Consolidation

Spring                                         Waxing Flower Moon

Hmmm.   Wax.  Bees wax, or, propolis as it is properly called.  I just did a mid-April reversal of the top two hive boxes per the Minnesota bee-keeping method for a cold climate.  This involved taking out each frame, examining it–even though I’m still a bit uncertain about what I’m seeing–putting it back after scraping any queen cells, a few, then switching the top hive box with the middle one.  This does something good, though right now I can’t recall what.

A nimble joint future awaits me since I got stung four times today.  Each time a little less reaction.  The first sting came from a bee that crawled up my pants leg.  Another came as I removed a frame.  The third and fourth as I took off my bee suit only to discover that on its back were a lot of bees.  The bee suit still lies on the floor of the honey house.  A lot to learn.  These hive boxes, which have lots of larvae, pollen and honey are heavy.  Another reminder of why hitting the weights is a good idea.

Next week the Minnesota Hygienic bees come in their little wooden package.  They will go into the new hive boxes that Kate has assembled and coated with polyurethane.  She’s also assembling honey supers and coating bottom boards, tops and other miscellaneous woodware.

This is a year of consolidation on the gardens and bee front.  We’ll make sure we can make good use of all the vegetable beds and companion planting ideas.  We’ll shore up our preservation and storage options.  I’ll learn about the honey extracting and bottling process as well as colony division and hiving my own package of bees.  We have fruits and berries, even a few nuts to learn how to care for, all of which fit in well with the Brenda Langston inspired version of healthy eating.

Inside though there’s still the Latin.  No consolidation there yet.  It’s an upward curve so far.

I have been wondering recently about my work at the MIA.  This is my 9th year as guide and docent.  The art world as a whole continues to fascinate me and the research challenges it presents are gifts to my life, not burdens.  Touring has become easier and more enjoyable this year.  Not sure why.  Just has.   Should I continue on a sort of emphasis on Asian art, especially China and Japan, or should I really lock myself down into those two and really learn them?  Should I perhaps shift my learning focus to prints and drawings, an area not many docents cover and in which the bulk of the museum’s collection of object lies?  I think what I’m saying is I want more depth in the experience.  I’ve gained breadth and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity.  How to make the experience richer and deeper?  That’s the journey now.