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Monday, August 17, 2015

Bead Again

"Hi Geo."
"Hello Bead, it's been a year since we last talked, hasn't it?"
"Almost, about eleven months. Whatcha makin'?"
"Bead, my hearing has deteriorated this past year. Are you asking about citizens of a Caribbean island nation -- lush topography, reef-lined beaches?"
"I mean, what are you doing with your little watercolor block and paintbrush?"
"Doodling your portrait, Bead. Lookee."
"Wow! I've changed a bit."
"You have. Compound eyes are squinting and your colors are muted. Still a fine-looking bee though."
"Aw thanks, Geo., you almost make me feel young again. What's that noise?"
 
"That's my wife calling me in for dinner."
"Figured it was something like that. Why do human women announce dinner as if it was an emergency?"
"Sometimes it is. But what brings on these questions? You seem more reflective now."
"That's because I'm retired, Geo. A human month equals about 10 bee-years, so I'm way past the century mark."
"Well, gosh! What does a retired bee do?"
"Ask Norma to bring her camera over and I'll show you."

                                     [Normavideo --Bee clip, 8-14-15 https://youtu.be/cOy8DCj6QYs ]

"Bead, that's the same thing you always did."
"Yes, but now I gather pollen just for relaxation, like you still garden after doing it for a living."
"I understand. I did that 35 years."
"That's 42,000 bee-years, Geo. Different reward-system now. You get to enjoy sun-dappled shade under trees planted long long ago."

"That's the perfect time to plant trees, Bead."
"Silly human, go inside now. Your dinner is waiting. It's an emergency!"


35 comments:

  1. It was very nice of beads to drop by again. You have developed quite a rapport with him.

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    1. That's because I like him, for his corporate hive identity and for himself. He probably feels the same about me.

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  2. Great wisdom, Geo. Bead is a most unusual creature.

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    1. An equitable universe must be understood by the simplest among us. Bead and I are both simple mechanisms.

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  3. I can't help but seeing 'Bede' instead of 'Bead'....the Venerable made an impression on me years ago I guess. This post gives us some things to chew on, eh?
    The old idea in science is that as you progress, and climb, you are standing on shoulders, those who did the basics and groundwork of your now perhaps theory.
    Another would be that as I advance, I'm less sure of the ground I'm wobbling on. In 1968 there were few black on whites....now it's mostly grey.
    The last might be that the venerable bead is right, we should go inside, heed the call to dinner. Metaphorically it might be what keeps us afloat in the decades to come. Dinner, the convivial discourse that accompanies it, might be what's needed with our world.
    Cheers, Geo.

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    1. Mike, any similarities between Bead the bee and Bede "The Father of English History" are purely coincidental but probably intentional..

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  4. Awww.
    I could feel tension ebb away as I read this post, marvelled at your drawing and at the Normavideo. Too many trees would be barely enough, and sun-dappled shade is always a bonus.
    I hope your emergency dinner was flavour packed.

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    1. E.C., it was 108F here today (42 C) and trees asked me to get out from under them because I was just another heat source. Dinner was great --cold-cuts and salad. Thanks! Will relay compliment to Norma.

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  5. I'm grinning ear to ear at the fact that retired bees still gather pollen for relaxation. I didn't know. I love the portrait of Bead - very lifelike. And flattering, considering his advanced age.

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    1. Thanks! I'm only pretty sure it was the original Bead, Jon. Bees share a corporate consciousness in the hive--much like individual cells do in our bodies-- but he was close enough to have good memories of our past encounter. You know us guys settle for that.

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  6. lt is too hot for retirees to be outside, Geo. However, Norma might not be too happy if you invited Bead indoors for dinner.

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    1. Happily, Norma has never been nervous about bees, gets quite close to photograph them. When one gets indoors it goes right to a window and waits to be captured by cup and card and returned outdoors. But, true, she never invites them to dinner.

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  7. An enlightening conversation, which is better than a stinging one.

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    1. Agreed! In many years as a gardener I was only bee-stung once and it was my fault. Wasps and hornets, however, have swarmed and stampeded me many times and I resented it.

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  8. Bead sounds like a sensible fellow still doing what he does best. We are the happiest when we feel confident in what we are doing...and when we're eating.

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    1. There is indeed a universal connection between confidence and happiness. Just wish there were easier ways to learn that.

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  9. 42 thousand years of gardening will grow a sage-
    Bead and Geo. have stirred the pollen best
    and each have earned a dappled rest
    but must not let Norma's fresh dinner age

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    1. Tom I love the abba rhyme scheme of your verse! It is excellent and true. Thanks!

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  10. What a beautiful painting of Bead! And I love that video. So nice to meet Bead through you :) I hope you are doing well! Have a wonderful rest of the week.

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    1. Kind Beate, thanks! Glad you enjoyed my essay. Say hello to Keith for me --my best to you both!

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  11. Loved this post, Geo! It had me smiling for lots of reasons all the way through. Starting with the hearing conundrum. I'm trying to get better at lip reading, because I find myself hearing perplexing things (which can have embarrassing results!).

    Why do human women announce dinner as if it was an emergency?
    No enigma there! I'll be racing around in the kitchen, cooking, setting the table, washing dishes, orchestrating a meal where everything is timed to finish simultaneously and land perfectly presented on a plate, while my husband is 10 or 15 feet away from me obliviously engrossed in anything but helping with dinner. It's times like that I think of drone bees! Especially when I hear, "Yeah, yeah. Just give me a minute!"

    Not to disparage my hubby: He does shoulder many chores and now washes the dishes after dinner since he has retired. But sometimes I have visions of him laid out on the floor with the paramedics working on him; however that would only delay dinner even longer!

    I thoroughly enjoy your Geo.doodles. The portrait of Bead is beautifully executed, from the line strokes to the watercolor washes. How I wish I could draw! And please thank Norma for her buzzy Normavideo; I get a kick out of her videos and photos.

    Are you sure you're not a retired English professor? That's how you always strike me, Geo! I wouldn't consciously think about an abba rhyme scheme, and I majored in English (as well as geology, because at Acadia I was a little Bead flitting from flower to flower on a bee-heaven bush). But then, poetry wasn't my long suit.

    Now to refill my coffee cup and go back and read your posts that I have missed! My enigma is why am I such a herky jerk, no matter how I try not to be! LOL

    Have a good one!

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    1. Thanks, Fundy Blue! I was never an English prof. I was really was a gardener, but have always enjoyed reading and languages. I remarked on Tom's excellent abba rhyme because it's a difficult form for me --mainly used in Italian sonnets. Shows up in some opera too. But we're more used to abab and couplet schemes here. I try to buzz around to all of them --fun!

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  12. Your artwork is wonderful. Poor Bead, it must be getting lonelier and lonelier to be a bead these days - I have hardly seen any bees at all this summer. Mind you, I tend to be a stayer-inner because I do not do well in the heat or brightness, but still - we usually see them around the walkways. A world without bees is a scary thought.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. Sorry to hear bees are scarce in your area. Numbers declined here too, but seem to be increasing gradually, year by year. We planted more lavender and that helped.

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    2. Good to know; lavender is also beautiful, and a perennial, I think? so would fill several needs in our garden. Do you know (as a long-time gardener) whether starting it from seed would guarantee it being free of neonicotinoids? I've read conflicting opinions.

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    3. Good question. I can only guess right now from the general consensus that neonicotinoid seed treatments do not appear to produce any benefits for pest management. This means 2 things: active ingredient is neutralized by the soaking and soil a seed gets but remains active in plants treated after sprouting; Norma's video shows a healthy bee collecting pollen from a zinnia grown from seed. In my experience, it is easier to grow zinnias from seed than lavender. So I'd suggest the video flower first, from seed, to provide best nourishment to the entire hive. Lavender takes longer to grow from seed but the same principle would apply. Main thing to remember is, if any plant is treated with neonicotinoids after sprouting, it can take a long time --years maybe-- to rid it from its system. Good luck and please inform me of results in years to come.

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    4. Thank you, Geo., and I will.

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  13. Bees are the reason I plant stuff I can't eat- they are welcome guests to our garden dinners and properly catered for. Apologies for my virtual absence- the garden is where I've been of course! It is raining here today, am trying to waft some cool water your way. Beautiful calm words you make, however, in spite of the heat :-) xx

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    1. Rain. I remember rain! Keep wafting, Lisa. Rain and bees are mechanisms of every garden's survival and connect all gardens.

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  14. What wonderful work and great video. Warm greetings to you!

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    1. Thank you Blogoratti. Greetings and good wishes to you too.

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  15. Dude. By no means does that picture qualify as being a "doodle." Nope. Not at all. It's quite lovely. And realistic. My doodles look more like abstract art.

    It's been so hot this summer, the bees aren't even buzzing. Or flying. They just hang around in the garden, chilling.

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    1. Dudes do doodle. Thanks though and I hope all our bees chill enthusiastically enough to bring the temperature down. I delight in abstract art!

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  16. A little bit of honey takes the sting out of life! You drew a mighty fine portrait of Bead. Just don't be late for dinner. :-)

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    1. Thank you Moon! Happily, I have been called many things but never "late for dinner".

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