clare took me to the campus apiary at macdonald this morning to watch the bee keepers there extract honey, which as it turns out involves a lot of scraping and centrifugal force, separation of wax from the good stuff, etc. the campus we went to is roughly an hour’s commute from downtown, and it is beautiful, plenty of green space and red brick buildings that reminded me of franciscan churches.
the extraction itself was interesting; we got a run down of how to collect the honey from the combs and then process it for storing. following this, the guy giving the demonstration took us to the hives to watch him shake down the trays holding the combs and, consequently, the bees. during said demonstration, i managed to get stung in the head (why wouldn’t i?), but overall it was an enjoyable experience. the beekeeper’s language was particularly noteworthy, plenty of “they say…”s followed shortly thereafter by ” but, ah, fuck it”s. if anyone is interested, apparently it is advisable to wear light colours and not to “be a stinkybird” if you are looking to avoid being stung, as dark colours and strong smells are associated with bears in particular. no comment on my aroma’s role in my stinging, please.
later we rented bikes and rode to the farmer’s market, ate lunch (lentil-stuffed injera, probably the most satisfying version of a crepe i have ever experienced) at the river, and i picked up an awesome iron skillet from a thrift store. the sting on my head has completely subsided already, which is funny because the reason i have typically been so cautious around bees is because their bite seems to last for days… so maybe i’m building an immunity? meeeeh.
i was so wrong about an immunity to bee stings, almost a week later and my lymph nodes are still swollen..