This is a short story I wrote about four years ago. Nothing in it happened to me or anyone I know for real but I had been thinking about myself and my own kids and how much they liked to help me with the bees and how that might go on into the future. Might one of my own kids be thinking something along the lines of this story when my beekeeping days are done?
I remember the late spring and early summer days of clear blue skies with their wispy white clouds hanging, seeming still.
The light, warm breezes, carrying the scents of nature and pleasant days. Work and worries forgotten in the afternoon wonders of Nature.
Sitting on the old wood bench my Daddy made all those years ago. Rubbed smooth by all the sitting and talking we did since I was old enough to go along with him out here in the honey bee hollow.
That’s what my Daddy always called it, his honey bee hollow, back between the shed and the rolling fields that stretched as far as the eye could see.
It’s a magic place, where the honey bees live, back in honey bee hollow. Smells of honey and sunlight in the air and bees flying, busily going to and fro, curiously knowing from whence they came and where they go.
My Daddy started his hives back there when he was young and the honey bees swept his heart away. Mama always said she knew even then, the bees were his ‘other girls’ and there was no point in standing in the way.
I sit here now, just like I did back then, on this old wood bench watching the bees, buzzing softly, going about their terribly important business as though nothing else exists in the world but flowers and honeycomb.
I spent countless days working in honey bee hollow with my Daddy. He taught me just about anything a person could know about honeybees by those hives and sitting on that bench back in honey bee hollow.
In his late years, my Daddy couldn’t work the bees like we used to. It still gave him so much pleasure to come out and sit on the old wood bench though and listen to the bees, watching them coming and going.
It was out back in honey bee hollow here that my Daddy sat on the wood bench for the last time. He wanted to stay, he said, just a little bit longer. I told him he can stay as just as long as he wanted and I went on up to the shed to get some tools. When I came back, my Daddy was gone.
I walked up behind him, calling to him quietly, not wanting to startle him awake. Then, I saw the peace on his face and I knew my Daddy would be in honey bee hollow forever and ever.
Now I come to honey bee hollow and sit on this old wood bench and I listen close to the bees and the breeze. Sometimes, I can still hear my Daddy’s voice, telling me just about all there is to know about honey bees.