Grit Blogs > Muck Boot Diva

United Bees


Muck Boot Diva HeadshotMy Blackberry alarm began to climb.  I turned it off, before I had to use my flail.

I woke up this morning all set for a busy day.  Grabbed a cup of coffee, the breakfast of champions in NJ, and sloshed it down; I was wearing all black -- so a drip here or a drop there really would not matter.

I got off on the right foot with a trip to the horse farm where I take riding lessons.  I took Rosie for a spin through the fields and the woods.  As a writer, the Diva needed a little time to clear her mind.  Rosie was happy to get out of the stalls for a while.  I managed to stay in the saddle and none of the low tree branches swiped me off. 

After dismounting, without falling on my rear end this time, I handed the reins back to the instructor and rushed off in my big black pick-up.

I blasted the radio and decided to sing along with “Put on a Happy Face” for about the fiftieth time this week because that was what everyone had been telling me to do – the Diva had been facing disaster after disaster for what seemed to be a long time without a break.  Thus, no recent posts. 

I fear “Banana Splits and liquorice” and a bit of dancing on the mental stage are not enough to cure this sort of trouble.  The Diva's deepest apologies are extended to her readers – I will keep up on my posting in the future.

I know the U.S. East Coast has suffered greatly through this most recent hurricane, numerous earthquakes, and the dreadful economy.  America itself has suffered a huge loss -- all the emotional upheaval and of course the complete financial ruin of many of its citizens.

 Do not fear – I will not ask any of you to sing “Put on a Happy Face.”  I won't ask you to dance with me either -- it would just hurt your toes.   I know firsthand how hard "acting happy" is to do. What you REALLY need is a virtual shoulder to cry on – and believe me, you have mine!  I will continue to pray for you all.  You’re family!

To all those who are remembering 9/11 I ask God to please hold the people who lost a loved one in the attacks of 9/11 gently in the palm of His hand for eternity.   

I remember exactly where I was standing that day – In the hallway of Ramapo College located in Mahwah NJ, with an arm full of books, just twenty minutes from New York City.  My college was being evacuated as it was a potential target, and I was wondering where my three children were.  It was my 38th Birthday; I was scared to death.

One good thing that came out of 9/11 was that for a moment, America acted like it was family.  People helped each other; grieved for each other.  Citizens cut each other slack.  Greed stopped ever so briefly.  Community cared for one another once again.

All of our loved ones who passed on left us with that fine gift – the ability to know that we, as a nation, had the capacity to act like a family. 

But I must ask – is America putting that costly gift into operation each day – building a Nation of “family” ties, or is that gift just gathering dust in the corner like your old football trophy or wedding dress?

We need to wake up and start acting like a family!  Coming out of this disaster of an economy, on the heels of an attack like 9/11, will depend on the survival of the farmer -- large or small.  America needs to “get back to its roots” and become self sufficient once more.  We need to befriend one another, and stop wandering the planet, thinking only of ourselves, without offering a helping hand to our brother or sister.  This is why the Amish survive -- they band together.  Just like bees in a hive.


Anyway --- this, of course, brings me to honeybees.  They are suffering from a collapse that is most likely due to the selfish people in the world planting one crop for miles and miles.  With no diversity for the honeybee.  We need to lend a helping hand. 

I had the opportunity to attend the film Queen of the Sun: What Are Bees Telling Us? A new, award-winning documentary about the disappearance of honeybees and the vital role bees and beekeepers play in a healthy, sustainable planet. It was attended by our Bee Group in NJ, North East NJ Beekeepers Association and my friend Rachel asked me to go.  Our MWM’s came along too.

Many top name beekeepers were in the film, along with some of our local bee “movie stars” in the tri-state area.  The challenge was given to the viewer to begin raising honeybees, for without honeybees there is no pollination and no future food for us, or our livestock. 

Many of our local beekeepers in NY and NJ have seen signs of collapse in the honeybee communities.  Last year was horrible.  A friend lost over fifty hives due to the hard winter in NYS. 

Many are trying to care for the bees more than ever.  Rachel from NJ takes great pride in her hive in the middle of a NJ Suburb.  While her numbers are not up, because the hive started production late, she really protects it – even to the point of giving it some shade and water!  I'm waiting to see a glass of honey out side the hive with a swizzle stick!  I hear she will be putting the bees in an observation hive inside her house over the winter --- very, very brave Rachel!!!!


Bees need our care and watchful eye.  As many people as possible that can house them on their property should.  The bees are a very calming creature to spend time with; they produce free honey.   They will do far more work in pollinating the property than the effort and time the property owner will ever put into their care.

I know – You think the Diva is crazy.  BEES!  CALMING????

Yes.  If you are properly dressed, there is nothing like walking out in the quiet of the morning or the early evening to your hives and listening to the hum of your bees, smell the honey, and even have them exploring your suit and gloves. 


I am not sure how the bees will do this year as a whole; nature's feathers have been ruffled for sure.   

I spoke to Pat, my friend from Sherburne – LT’s Tables and Stuff, and she said, “Our friend Bob's bees did not even pollinate his fruit trees that were less than 100 feet away. Our bee’s pollinated our apple trees and garden. You cannot predict the honey production for this year because we still have a month or more of honey production; the goldenrod and bamboo are just starting here. We have gotten twenty swarms this year, last year we got about 10 or 12 swarms.”


I decided to include a picture of the swarm Lash (Pat’s MWM) has captured this year in his own back yard – I find the process fascinating, but this is one area of bee keeping the Diva will leave to the experts!

More swarms collected this year by Lash, and possibly others, mean the bees might be doing a bit better I think – or at least I hope so.  If you can, think about placing a few hives on your “estate” and help our ailing planet stay alive and thrive. Plant a variety of flowers and plants on your property and a variety of crops for them to “dine on”, not just one or two – remember they need a proper bee diet!

Maybe this will help our little honey bee friends  "Put on a Happy Face"!

Splashingly Yours!

Muck Boot Diva