A handle would've been nice.
This afternoon, Owen and I drove to Sonoma County to collect our bees, and found thrumming crates of insects stacked on every available surface of the Beekind shop. Stray bees were shooting around in the air and I pretended to be cool, resisted swatting them away from my face or shrieking. While she wrote up our receipt, the proprietor reached out her index finger and petted a bee that was clinging to the side of her clipboard. I may one day cease to fear bees, but doubt I'll ever caress one. The same woman proceeded to give me a peremptory 30-second course on bee installation, brusquely told me to watch the video I've already seen a half dozen times, and sent us home with our two throbbing 3-pound packages.
Though he disapproves of this whole project, Mark gamely "suited up" and we carefully did all the things you must do to relocate bees from packages into hives. The operation was not that complicated, just the tiniest bit scary, and very quick. I was stung once, Mark not at all. The only truly weird maneuver involved a screw, a cork, and a miniature marshmallow and I would describe it in more detail but am completely shot.
Anyway, the hives are now filled with handsome Italian honeybees and one day I'll lift a lid and and take a photo to prove it. Not there yet. If you're an experienced beekeeper and see something obviously wrong with this hive set-up, which would not surprise me, I'd be grateful for a note.
Tomorrow, back to cookbooks.