October 11th, 2006


Etsy Beetsy

I'm kind of peering at Etsy and being fascinated. Especially with the stashes of hand spun I have at home, that it would be cool to find a home for. Hm. I have to admit that I spin much faster than I knit, and I have three or four bunches of hand spun laceweight wools from back when it was too hard to buy commercial lace weight yarns. I know that I'm probably never going to get around to knitting them, so why not sell them to someone that would really value them for what they are?

Might well be worthwhile at the prices they're talking about for advertising things.

Thanks palinade for being the pointer to it all. I appreciate that a lot.

The bee class last night was a total and complete coverage of the biology, life cycle, and ecology of honey bees Apis mellifera. It was astonishingly thorough, some of it was stuff that I'd heard about in concept (dancing to communicate where pollen/nectar sources are) but the natural science teacher provided astonishing detail about it (circle dance=close, figure-8=further, speed/number of iterations=distance, angle of the dances=relative angle from the sun with the top of the hive as "at the sun", and, the newest bit, that the frequency of the buzzing while dancing equates to the height from the standard flight pattern from the hive). Sexes, birth, through death for all three social elements, and it was pretty fun. I didn't need to read the book, but it helped to make it easy to follow along with the other details.

I think that what I liked the best were the personal stories. Like the teacher, when she was a girl, accidentally smashed a yellow jacket nest, and had been stung over 100 times that one time. So, when she started beekeeping, she was deathly afraid of getting stung. Then, one day, she'd had a family over to teach them about extraction of honey, and they'd done a few frames, and wanted to go see something else. So the family left after she'd given them directions and things, and she went back to clean up. The extractor had been, accidentally, left open. A bee had found it and brought over 100 of her sisters. But they were getting stuck in the honey when they landed on it to collect it and were, basically drowning in 40 pounds of honey!

She felt really bad about her bees dying through no fault of their own, and so she started rescuing them. She just dug in there and pulled out big handfuls of bees and set them on the ground, where they struggled to find each other and clean each other off. Which she thought was very cool. She realized she'd been so frantic to safe them she hadn't worried about getting stung at all. Then she realized she was getting tickled on her arms, and where she'd dug into the honey, she was covered with her bees, who were just cleaning her off as well. Awwww... :-)

I think it's the personality bits about the domesticated honey bee that amaze me. The biology, what glands do which and how they all work is interesting mechanics for trying to figure out what's happening when there are problems. But... how they interact with people is fascinating to me.