Almost every year we’ve been a pair, Honeydew and I have spent most of January, February, March, and April apart. Commercial beekeeping, for us, without other employment, is possible in large part because of spring almond pollination in California.

But even if pollination were not such an important part of our income stream, there would still be compelling reasons to hit the road to the Redding area every year – in a nutshell, honeybee reproduction requires the thermometer to hit 70F, and that lovely temperature just doesn’t occur near Babb this time of year.

So, for the sake of selecting our own genetics, in addition to pollination income, to California we must go.

Most years, like this year, I’ve stayed in Montana, watching over the dawgs, the retail business, the Warehome, and now, that pesky toddler. Last year, Maggie Rose and I accompanied Honeydew and rented a tiny house with a yard charmed by orange trees, buttercups, and hyacinths. We journeyed from bee yard to bee yard, and from trailhead to trailhead, filling our time with learning and play.

This year, I am tethered to my weekly infusions of IVIG at our local hospital and cannot join Honeydew in sunny California. So he came home for the first three of my treatments, and it’s been such a treat to have him around. For me, Maggie Rose’s various antics are far more entertaining when I have her daddy to discuss them with at the end of the day.

But this morning, I rose in the snowy pre-dawn to fry up sausage patties, chop fruit, and bake a cheese Danish for Honeydew, Neil, and Darling Brother -in-Law, then sat quietly with my second cup of coffee and watched the bee truck’s taillights blur against the fluffy flakes and a tear or two.

Safe travels, Honeydew. Take better care than ever before.


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