Thing the first: We are now officially beekeepers. Saturday afternoon my wife and I picked up our nuc from one of our fellow members of the Beekeepers Association of Northern Virginia. The bees were just chilling in the dining room when we showed up, well secured in their cardboard travel case and humming away like mad. There are few things that make me a safer driver than having a hatchback full of bees, apparently. The buzzing was always just a little louder than the radio, especially when a stop or turn made their little cardboard box slide around.
It was raining when we got home, so we immediately broke my first and most sacrosanct rule of beekeeping: no bees in the house. The cats were exceedingly concerned about the box, I suspect the sound of the bees humming sounded different to their ears. I picked up our younger, stupider cat and let him have a good look from about five feet away. He wanted no closer than that, tensing as I held him and scampering off when I let him down. The rain tapered off, so we took the opportunity to suit up and get the bees into their new hive. This meant doing things faster than intended, so we didn’t have time to identify the queen, even though she has a little yellow dot on her back. We’ll need to go in again by next weekend anyway, we’ll get another chance then.
We were told to expect productive and gentle bees. True to form, they only buzzed around us curiously while we assembled the hive, and by yesterday were already coming back to the hive with huge saddlebags of pollen, even with a patty of artificial pollen sitting right in their hive. We did come across one bee who was a little braver than her sisters. This is the bee that will hover right at eye level with us, really staring us down and just daring us to come in closer to the hive. We’ve long planned to name one bee “That Bee” who we could blame any problems in the hive on. I think we’ve officially found That Bee.
It’s unusual to harvest from a hive in its first summer, but this colony apparently produced around 100 pounds of honey last year, so it’s not out of the question that we might, might, get a taste of some honey in late August. Of course by then I’ll be beekeeping solo for a few weeks, so we might just let them keep all the honey this year so they have more than enough to overwinter with.
I have some photos, but I’m having a hard time wrangling them at the moment. I’ll update this post later in the evening and send a ping on Twitter when it happens.
Thing the second: Late yesterday I got word of a short story sale to an upcoming anthology. I’m never sure if I’m supposed to share details of just which anthology, so I’m going to hold off until I see something official on their website or get a green light on email. I will say I’m one of two Unleaded contributors on the author’s list, which is awesome. Because of that, it’ll probably be over there not over here that I give more details, when they exist to give. This is my third sale since getting serious about submissions, which is fantastic. Means I need to write more short stories so I can have more rotating through markets. If you’re a fellow Cat Vacuumer, yes, it was that story.
Speaking of anthologies, we are in the last week of the Kickstarter for The Memory Eater, and what was once moving fast and furious is now stalled out just shy of 80%. It’s not too late to get in and preorder a copy. I’ve seen Kickstarters pull in impressive last week numbers, but there’s certainly no room for complacency. If you’re still considering, time is running low. If you are already in, please consider giving us a signal boost on Twitter. Doing so can even earn you free reward-tier prizes, check out the contest here. Our deadline for funding is Saturday morning at 7:55am eastern time.