Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What we all need

Not to take away from those of you who are at this very moment enjoying the your home entertainment center, or working out in your home gym or sweating in your home sauna, but while you were otherwise engaged, the world of real estate exigencies has moved beyond your passé must-haves. And what is this latest sine qua non of a fully–equipped home? Why, it is a WINE CELLAR CUM APIARY.
In the course of our autumnal hive inspections, we noticed that some hives were rather weak and it seemed doubtful they would make it through the winter. Plus there has been an unfortunate spate of hive robbing of late, and weak hives are especially vulnerable. So CSB conceived this plan of bringing the weak hives inside. But where inside? In the wine cellar, of course.
Our basement harks back to the early 18th century and frankly, has not advanced much in the intervening years. In particular there is a region we call the back basement, where the floor is still dirt and cobblestones (The story goes that the cobblestones were brought over in the 17th century as ballast in Dutch ships. I cannot comment on the historical accuracy.) and rodents have been known to roam. Among the objects in the back basement are a decrepit coal furnace and a pile of glass x-rays, presumably of urological tracts because for most of the twentieth century the resident of this house was a prominent NY urologist. Who knows, maybe your grandfather’s digestive tract is preserved, in negative relief, in our basement. Maybe not.

In the past, on jerrybuilt shelves in the back basement, next to the pit containing the coal furnace and bedrock, we have stored wine bottles (both empty and otherwise) and odd alcoholic confections people kindly bring us from around the world (Chinese herb liqueur, Polish fruit brandy, Costa Rican coffee aqua-viva, Amazonian chichiwasser and the like). Calling this damp cobweb-draped chamber a wine cellar is like calling the snarky emails my daughter and I send each other Belles Lettres.
Now we have beehives there as well, and so can call it an Apiary. CSB made these wooden boxes you see and installed the nuc boxes inside; there is a hole on the other side of the box and plastic tubing going out the window, so the bees can get out for cleansing flights when they need to. The hope is that the will stay warm, huddled around the queen, and emerge triumphantly alive in the spring.
Plus, if you put an ear to the outside of the box, you can hear them buzzing. Soon everyone will want an apiary in their basement.

No comments: