Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saint Bee and Hurricane Hanna

I was going to write today about Saint Bee (also known as Bega) whose name - though nothing else about her - so felicitously mates my hagiographic and apicultural obsessions. I was going to tell you of this Irish princess who chose chastity over an arranged marriage. To commemorate this decision (what we would call a Choice) an angel gave Bee a bracelet marked with a cross. Then, on the eve of her intended marriage, and with the help of the bracelet, Bee cut herself a piece of sod, which transported her across the sea to the English coast. For a while she lived there as an anchoress, food being delivered to her by seagulls and gannets. But Oswald of Northumbria (also a saint-to-be) convinced her to join a nunnery, where the food was better and she lived a holy life. Of course. If you doubt any of this, you should know that until recently Bee’s angelic bracelet was revered as a relic at St. Bee’s and if you swore falsely upon it, you would be immediately struck down.
I would have told you all that and more, but since we are on the receiving end of Hurricane Hanna, I am more concerned with the bees in the storm. Given that we expect gusts of up to 60 mph, CSB made sure all the hives were stable and weighted down with large rocks. It was the

pendant hive in the dogwood (seen above, on a sunnier day) that most concerned us, exposed as it is. CSB decided we would take off the entire branch and move it to the hollow tree trunk. But he wanted to make sure all the foragers were back at the hive before moving it, which meant waiting until the last minute, which meant it was pouring rain when he was moving the hive. I took off all my clothes and held the umbrella.
It is still pouring. We just lost power for a couple of hours, but it has returned (hence ability to do this). The wind however has not yet shown itself, and we await.

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