Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bees' knees. Do they have them?

Contrary to what everyone tells you about what a breeze it is to get your knee replaced, how pain free and generally fun the whole experience is, I found myself inconvenienced enough to not write this past week. As in: Not one single legible word.
Maybe that’s because the nurses were on strike.
Yep, in a solid triumph of good planning, this surgery occurred just as the nurses at Saint L--’s were set to go on strike. Click here.

Meanwhile, CSB took a break today from constant attendance upon my knee to attend a Queen-rearing class. Two methods of raising queens were discussed. One was the Miller Method and the other was the standard grafting of eggs into queen cups. In both cases, eggs are inserted into a queenless hive, and then the nurse bees do their work. Yet even as the rapt beekeepers stood around their Master Beekeeper and watched this royal in vitro, behind them in the apiary a hive was swarming: thousands of bees were departing – with their Queen – for a roomier home.
(A friend told me today of her dog’s day care situation: he attends Buddy's Barking Lot, and we agreed that pets seem to bring out the bad punster in all of us. Apparently, the same is true for beekeepers.)

Because this is a trend that I find troubling, I will mention that today is the feast of Saint Injuriosus, known for nothing more remarkable than being married to Saint Scholastica. The two were called Les Deux Amantes, ironically I presume, because the marriage was never consummated. There is no reason to think that is the same Saint Scholastica who was Saint Benedict’s twin sister. Though I have read nothing that actively denies it, and the dates (mid 6th century) would work.

Blessed Claritus - the last male of his family line - he founded a convent for Augustinian nuns in Florence, in 1348. There his wife lived out her days, and Claritus himself joined the convent as a servant. Until he died in the plague of 1348. His shrine nearby is a popular watering spot and “credited with the property of emitting a peculiar odor whenever one of the nuns was about to die.” Butler does not describe that peculiar odor.

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