We are the proud new keepers of a hive of bees in our backyard. We figured that tens of thousands of efficient pollinators would logically complement the little fruit orchard that Lali planted on our 1/12th of an acre homestead. So just like the chickens provided insight on a whole world of foul language (poultry idioms), the bees have offered their own sweet insights.
So please excuse the reach while I resort to bee references to share some exciting news.
Since publishing Through These Veins in 2011, I have been busy as a bee promoting the book in any way I could conceive – which has borne some interesting fruit (though perhaps no fruit is as interesting as a fig, which is actually pollinated by wasps, not bees). Last year, somehow an audiobook publishing company foraging through Amazon.com found my book honeycombed among the millions available. The publisher, Cherry Hill Publishing, asked if I would like to narrate the book. I would. So, with a bee in my bonnet to finish my work within the contracted deadline, I spent several months waking early to read the story aloud to myself in my makeshift closet studio. Then Cherry Hill worked their magic and voila, the audio version of Through These Veins is available from Cherry Hill and on Audible.com. How sweet is that?
As I was trying to give voice to the story, (hopefully I wasn’t droning* on) I received a call I thought was the bees knees; a friend had been in touch with an independent film producer about the book, and all of us agreed that we would like to see a film version of the book. I have no idea how to make that happen, but the producer, who formerly headed Sony Development, does. So I am now receiving an education in film finance and enjoying dreaming of the film with a slightly more realistic idea of how that could come to be.
But perhaps equally exciting, I now finally understand why the bees knees are so great. In observing the busy bees coming in from their long day of sexy cross-pollinating, most have bright yellow or orange pouches full of pollen from all of the flower foraging. And those pouches are located – you guessed it – on their back legs where we would imagine they have knees! Inside their wooden box – in that hive of activity – the pollen, collected as the bees fertilize millions of flowers within a six mile radius of where they live, moves through an intricate and elaborate process to become ‘bread’ for baby bees, honey for the workers and drones (and the humans who occasionally rob the hive), and royal jelly for the hardworking queen who is mother to them all. Much nicer than a hornet’s nest.
We haven’t harvested honey yet, we expect the girls will make a surplus by next spring. So between the prospects of Hollywood and honey, Los Angeles is treating us very well. Maybe we should look into goats so we could live in the land of milk and honey…
* a hive’s drones are just a few hundred males kept in reserve for their primary purpose of fertilizing a virgin queen in a single dance of copulation hundreds of feet in the air. A drone gives his life for this as the queen takes his reproductive organ with her, and draws on it for the next few years as she lays tens of thousands of eggs.