Holiday reading for beekeepers

We’d had our mini-moon – two nights in a B&B in Devon off Vouchercloud – but she wanted a week in the sun, on a beach.  As the Summer progressed it became more evident that I could not persuade her that this exotic dream could be achieved by me offering to pack up the tent and drive us down the M5 to a deluxe* Cornish campsite.

* i.e. it has nice clean loos.

A week before the Greek voted on their new government and whether they would stay in the Euro, we booked our last minute honeymoon to Skiathos.  It was the only place that met my wife’s criteria for relative luxury and my pursuit of a good deal.

On a side note, I read a few weeks ago in A Short History Of The Honeybee, that the word honeymoon comes from a tradition of newly-married couples drinking honeymead for the first month of their marriage in order to increase the likelihood of having a boy.

For my new wife, lying next to a pool in soaring temperatures is like some kind of spiritual retreat.  But for me, such holidays are like an M&S meal for two, it tastes good but it only feeds the body.  Camping near beaches in Cornwall is my Zen and, like a home-cooked meal, feeds my body and soul.

Whilst my fellow holiday makers worshipped the sun, tested their brains on Sudoku puzzles, read The Mirror and books with people like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs on the cover, I had brought the adult version of The Famous Five – proper old-school adventure with some big words thrown in for good measure.  (My wife had banned me from reading beekeeping books due to me waking her up on two consecutive nights with bee-related, anxiety nightmares).

Holiday reading for beekeepers

I had come across The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy whilst browsing in Waterstones.  A few words spun off the back cover which prompted me to buy it: desolate, beautiful, award-winning, two cowboys, drifters, journey, coming-of-age (I relate to the coming-of-age thing despite coming-up-to 40.  Is that true of all early-middle-aged men these days?).  The only word missing was bromance.  I half recognised one title in the trilogy, All The Pretty Horses, and I recognised some other books he had written: The Road, No Country For Old Men.

I haven’t read enough books to know if it’s a “masterpiece” or a “landmark in American literature”, but it contained wisdom and meaning and made me want to jump on a horse and travel.  Unfortunately, if I did that back home in Bristol, people would just think I was crazy.  In fact, many of the things I dream about doing would mark me out as crazy, so I’ll stick to my backyard beekeeping adventures … and then I will appear relatively sane!

I checked the bees as soon as I got home (it had been two weeks).  They looked good from the outside.  The clip below is of my newest colony (the swarm I hived three weeks ago).  I’ll let you know what I found in my next post … Proud Dad.