When I began writing posts for this webpage, I warned those reading that might digress from the science and art of beekeeping from time to time. I do so now to some degree.
While returning from a beekeeping meeting in southern Kentucky last night, I was listening to Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi (a book on CD). This volume is taken from Twain’s life on and along the river, including a stint as a riverboat pilot. In the following lines he describes a gathering of visiting pilots on the boat he was working on. I thought of beekeepers when listening to these words.
They were likewise welcome because all pilots are tireless talkers, when gathered together, and as they talk only about the river they are always understood and are always interesting. Your true pilot cares nothing about anything on earth but the river, and his pride in his occupation surpasses the pride of kings.
I re-wrote this in my head after listening to Twain’s words as:
They were likewise welcome because all beekeepers are tireless talkers, when gathered together, and as they talk only about the bees and the art of beekeeping they are always understood and are always interesting. Your true beekeeper cares nothing about anything on earth but the bees, and his pride in his occupation surpasses the pride of kings.
I don’t think I’m the only beekeeper who goes to meetings (when I am not part of the program), less to listen to the speakers than for the opportunity of conversation with other beekeepers.