[DWJ] Chalice

Mark Allums mark at allums.com
Wed Apr 22 20:29:30 EDT 2009

Minnow wrote:
> Mark Allums wrote:
>> "There are worse things than bees."
>> I wish you hadn't said that.  Perhaps you should qualify that with "nice
>> tame bees of Italian heritage".  I live in an area (East Texas) where
>> some quite aggressive bees are moving in from points further south.
> Oh.  I thought the Italian bees were the aggressive but industrious ones,
> and the English ones were placid but lazy, and the trouble came when they
> interbred them trying to get placid industrious, and ended up with
> aggressive lazy.

Oh, Most all European bees are nice.  English, Italian, whatever.  The 
South American experiment was to breed European bees with African bees. 
  This did not work well.  Some swarms got away, and the rest is 
history, including several very bad movies.  Apparently, very little of 
the European genetic heritage survives in the "Killer Bees", and none of 
the, European temperament at all.

>> But I did enjoy quite a lot witnessing my uncle's bee hive begin to
>> swarm, at my grandmother's house.  I can now quite easily visualize
>> being inside a roiling, thick cloud of honeybees.  Because I have been.
> Show-off!  :-)

:-)  It's really not a difficult feat.  Just hang around beehives in the 
summer.  A really large, thriving hive will almost certainly swarm, 
nearly every year.  Get very close (but not too close) when you detect 
unusual activity, and stand still.  It can be quite a fun experience for 
a ten-year-old.  Kind of like a fog composed of yellow-brown particles, 
which buzz.  It was a bit dream-like.  I'm sure I would experience it 
differently today, but I still recall the joy I had of being there, in 
the right place, at the right time.

> Memory of *A Swarm in May*, and Owen in a surplice wandering across the
> quad wearing a bowler hat, with a swarm of bees hanging from a chain in one
> hand and a bicycle pump in the other.
> Minnow


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