Sunday, March 1, 2015

Theme Day: Ageing (Where the Winner of the Inaugural Wyoming Award Gets Tested)

Several weeks ago, I enrolled in "Bee School," 
a day-long seminar presented by the Indiana Beekeepers
Association. In addition to displays brought in
by professional apiaries and suppliers, there were lectures
for advanced beekeepers, beginning beekeepers,
and people interested in keeping bees.
I fall into the latter category.

Since I needed to take a bus to the site of the event,
I checked the location on Google maps that displayed an
intersection near the end of the bus route from which
I would walk about a half mile to the high school
campus. "No problem," I said to myself, as I set off
to learn how to become a willing servant to those
little pollinators of our food supply.

The bus ride Saturday morning was non-eventful, 
winding through neighborhoods I'd never seen before,
taking me into the southwestern section of the city.
I got off the bus in an area that could only be described
as light industrial to rural. The only buildings in
evidence were warehouses that are transfer points
for cargo shipped to and from the nearby
Indianapolis International Airport, a regional hub 
for FedEx and UPS. I walked a quarter mile north, 
near the entrance to a warehouse serving a lot of FedEx 
semis - and saw nothing on the horizon but more warehouses.
I walked back to the intersection where I walked west along 
a two-lane paved road. At the top of the rise all I saw
was fallow ground bordered by barren trees.
It crossed my mind that me, a sixty-something woman
might become likely prey for a serial killer
long-haul truck driver. I'd never be heard from again.
Instead of getting scared wandering the roads, I got pissed.
 The Google map did not show the bus stop
on Kentucky Avenue where I could have just crossed
the street to arrive at my location. Instead, it had me 
walking a half mile from some isolated spot, 
nowhere near the school.

That's where I saw this speed limit sign, smothered 
in brush beside a long-abandoned road.
Back at the intersection, I was able to board the next
bus along that route. I asked the driver the location
of Decatur Central High School and was told it was just
about a mile from where the earlier driver
had dropped me off, across the street from where we'd
 first entered the development of apartments, 
a small specialty hospital, with the warehouses 
just beyond that. He told me he would let me off
right in front of the campus, and he did.

An hour late, I made it to Bee School. I'd expected 
a few hundred people to attend. Instead, I saw a 
couple thousand folks; the auditorium was full and the 
lectures I attended for beginning beekeepers
were standing room only. People of all ages bunched 
around the manufacturers' displays, including teen-agers
trying on coveralls and veils. I think I could get 
started on this part of my life odyssey for about $500.00, 
including my first package of bees.

And what has all this to do with today's CDP theme?
During one of the lectures, the beekeeper spoke about
the die-off of some of his bees during the winters.
He said that bees need to leave the hive every several
days to, well, take a shit. They do not want to dirty
their hive, so briefly fly outside then return to the warmth 
of their cluster. Some bees go outside to die
for the same reason. He used to work very hard
to save them only to find they would again leave the hive,
where he'd find their little bodies in the snow.
Eventually, the beekeeper learned it was a part 
of the natural processthat they knew better 
than he when their role was done.
Me? I am nowhere near ready to be found in some
isolated snow bank, curled up and down for the count. 
I have too many adventures ahead.

To see how other members of the City Daily Photo 
portal have interpreted today's theme, "Ageing," 
either click on the above link or on the CDP badge
to the right of this post.


Jim said...

Good theme day post.

Mike Nice said...

Fascinating story about the trip and the bees - that speed limit sign is really buried.

Glad it all worked out safely in the end!

Feyza Ramazanoglu said...

it is really good story, I learned something new about bees today from your post.
they are very important for our world. unfortunately with modern agriculture / pesticides and chemicals, we poison them. :( good to know many people were interested in that seminar and you returned your home in safe.
regards from Dubai

William Kendall said...

From a couple thousand people attending, it's clear a lot of people were interested in the subject. A good take on the theme- particularly as the fallow fields and woods have something of an aging look to them as well.

RedPat said...

This is the most unique take on the theme! ;-)

Julie said...

Yeah, I'm with RedPat: a unique take on the theme. I chortled out loud at the serial killer line!

I checked out bee-keeping just last year, but decided it was too expensive for me, being quoted close to $2000 AUD for set up and gear.

Fascinating thing to do though, hey?

Thank you for participating in our Theme Day. Much appreciated ...

Rob the frog said...

Love it!

Farmersdaughter said...

I'll pay attention to the little filler articles in the paper. The ones from the IMPD asking for help to identify bodies "... white elderly gray hair female
clutching her camera..." Just stay away from the Hillside area. Oophs! Wrong demographics - black female 20-40 years old drug user prostitute. Your safe.

Speedway said...

Thanks, all you guys for responding! I was pleasantly surprised because I didn't have any notion of what I would post for the theme. It wasn't until I was wandering the backroads of Indy that my little story occurred to me. Then, being able to tie it in to the life cycle of bees was an added treat. Thank you for like my little story.

@Julie, not knowing the exchange rate for US and AUD, I still think that sum seems like a lot of money. There were a lot of people at the session for whom a few hundred $ might be possible, but a couple thousand would be harder to come by. I checked a catalog and found starter kits for as little as $168 US on up to $335. A supply of bees to start one's hive. Bees would be separate, of course, and cost about $135, depending on the market, shipping, etc. The extra expenses would come from adding hives as the bees filled up their earlier ones, medicinal treatments for mites,and added equipment for extraction and storage of honey.

And I have read articles about long-haul trucker serial killers. They don't much want mature women, though, unless they're weird (as if being a serial killer doesn't qualify for that category).

And Farmer's Daughter ... the next time I see you, I will take you to task for the "elderly, white hair" bit because I am silver-haired and, if not "mature" I must be chronologically challenged. I sometimes go through the Hillside area to get to swim practice at WCHS. It's not a pleasant ride, more scruffy, downtrodden and poor than the area I was trodding.