When I was much younger, my brother and I visited a world-renowned bee breeder who produced thousands of queens every spring. I don’t remember much about that trip to the north-Florida panhandle where every town had some elegant white clapboard homes shaded by mossy live oaks. The place was steamy and humid. Bee season was almost over for the year. I don’t remember the five-hour drive to see the beekeeper or the way he greeted us. But there is one thing that stood out on the visit.
Even Humpty had his moments.
The north-Florida queen breeder reached for a basket that held a half-dozen caged queens, knocked over a smoker, and dropped the queens. The reason that this stood out for me is easy to explain. Queen rearing is a very fine craft, requires great dexterity, and insists upon smooth gentle motions. It’s a very precise job, demanding keen observation…
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