Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day #219 Done! and Settled!

Wednesday was a full day indeed for two big reasons. I’ll start with the second one first.

May 18, 2011 - two layers each
Both hives now have two layers for brood chambers. I opened the brown hive (formerly the white hive) and checked all the frames. Some of the comb they’d built was pretty fat, but it wasn’t large enough to attach to the frame next door, so I left it as is.

I saw plenty of eggs, so the queen appears to be well, although she’s very good at hiding. There was also a lot of capped brood (the brownish wax-topped cells where the baby bees are growing) and a fair amount of honey (white-capped cells) and pollen (yellowish-brown stuff). And the larvae were plentiful and cute.

I checked on the yellow hive just to be sure, and all seemed well. My smoker went out halfway through this whole operation. Thank goodness I have gentle bees.

Now to the second biggie:

Honey Creek Woodlands Trail

My friend Millie went with me Wednesday morning to Honey Creek Woodlands to meet with the director, Joe Whittaker. Honey Creek is a natural cemetery (also known as a green cemetery) situated on the lovely grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers GA, smack dab in the middle of the monastery's 2,200 acres. The cemetery is open for burials from all faiths. I selected a place where eventually (maybe 40 years from now???) I’d like to be buried. And it’s all paid for.

If you don’t know anything about green funerals or natural cemeteries, you might want to check out the Honey Creek website. Or read my 5th Biscuit McKee mystery, Indigo as an Iris, because I have a couple of green funerals in there. Writing about natural burial was my way of helping to educate people about a lovely way to keep pollutants (like embalming fluid / formaldehyde) out of the earth. One acre of a regular cemetery contains enough wood and concrete to build something like forty houses. In natural burial, everything returns to and nourishes the earth.

So – now my kids and grandkids won’t have to worry about arranging all that. I know right where I’m going to be planted. It’s pretty close to where Millie found a place for herself. You can come visit us both at the same time. But I'm not planning to die any time soon!

BEEattitude for Day # 219:
       Blessed are those who plan ahead without freaking out about it, for they shall carry a blessed calmness along with them.

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AggiePete said...

I had never heard of green funerals until INDIGO ... what a wonderful concept and now you'll have a nice resting place a long, long time from now. Yep, you are far too busy to go anywhere right now !!!

Jamey said...

I'm trying to stay out of my "top bar hive" for a couple weeks to give my girls some time alone to build comb and do what bees do (do-bee-do-bee-do?) undisturbed. Mine do not seem to be quite as 'gentle' as you describe yours...I am slightly jealous!

I am curious as to why one would choose a natural burial over cremation?

Fran Stewart said...

You're right, Petie. I'm WAY too busy to croak!

Fran Stewart said...

My bees ARE incredibly gentle, Jamey. Maybe I was just lucky... Where did you get your bees? and fo you know what genetic line they come from?

To answer your question -- I chose not to be cremated because cremation uses a lot of energy and doesn't return anything of much value to the earth. Even when "ashes" are buried, they're mostly just carbon.

I always laugh when a movie shows someone scattering the ashes of aloved one, and the wind carries it away. I had occasion to cury the ashes of a friend, and everything that was left looked like little flakes of mica -- certainly too heavy to be wafted away on a breeze.

I like the idea of supporting the nature preserve that a green cemetery is by definition.

Thanks for asking!