Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The Bee Mobil
I didn't need a car. The car I had was just fine and had less than 70,000 miles on it, but Tina decided I did need a new car. She and our nephew Chase picked out this spanking new Sapphire Blue Honda Fit. Sapphire Blue just happens to be my favorite color.
She surprised me, out of the blue one August afternoon and asked me to meet her in a parking lot out in Eagan, near her mother's house. She wouldn't tell me what was up, just that she needed me.
I remember being a little put out. It was hot and I was anxiously waiting for some biopsy results and didn't want to be away from the phone in case my physician called.
When I arrived and saw this cool little car I was confused and thought she had purchased it for herself. It seemed an odd choice for someone who spent an hour commuting to work each day.
Adding to the confusion was a mass of people waiting for my reaction, nieces, nephews, sister-in-law, mother-in-law . . . Once it sunk in that it was my new car, and she had even sold my old car I was very excited.
When I took up hobby beekeeping three years ago I didn't realize at the time how great a vehicle I had for such an endeavor. The Bee Mobil is a hatch back, perfect for loading and unloading. It has a huge amount of space inside, despite its small stature from the outside. The back seat folds down three different ways, opening up the entire back of the vehicle or leaving either one or two seats open for passengers.
As you can see I have it packed with equipment I need at the bee yard, smoker, smoker fuel, bee suites, extra hive boxes, and tool boxes with my hive tools, nails, baggies for scrap wax, magnifying glasses, and a plethora of other bee stuff. I don't like to get caught without something. The bee yard is too far away for that. I keep a shovel and a weed whipper on hand as well as we find ourselves leveling land and keeping the grass in the yard cut back. Rarely if ever do we need more space than the Bee Mobil offers. However, come harvest time this year I think we are going to need a pick-up truck to hall the supers home. There's no way all the supers will fit into the Bee Mobil but I don't really want honey dripping all over my honda fit.
I will admit the Bee Mobil smells of smoke and honey. It is impossible to temper the smoky reside from the smoker we use at the hives to temper the bees and mask the alarm phermone from the guard bees. Personally I love the smell of smoke, especially from the bee smoker so I don't mind the lingering effect in the car. Since Tina is not so fond of the smoke we almost always drive her car when we are together which is another little perk if you ask me. I love being driven around town. There is also the persistent smell of honey coming from spare frames and the scraps of wax we collect while doing our hive inspections.
The bees like to comb out any spare space in the hives. We could spend all day removing the burr and brace comb that isn't needed and messes up the hives. It is a never ending job and in the middle of a nectar flow the wax is packed with honey. When we scrap off the excess from the frames we collect it into plastic bags. By the end of a visit we might have a pint of scrap wax dripping with honey that we place into a zip lock bag, occasionally trapping a bee or two. The wax goes into the freezer and in the fall, after the harvest Paula will turn it into candles.
I spent the day reorganizing the Bee Mobil today to fit in the new brood boxes and supers we need to bring down on Thursday, saving one seat in the back for our third beekeeper, Colleen. It always feels good to clean out the cabin and collect the scrap wax for the freezer. I try and keep it clean and organized through out the summer and in the fall, when the season is over I treat the Bee Mobil to a full cleaning and detailing.