Thursday, May 1, 2008

Why I need to pay attention

In general, sustained attention is difficult for me. I excel in multitasking, dealing with constant interruptions, moving with the flow, etc. But I realize that there are areas in my life (hello, knitting?) where managing to stay on task for more than 10 minutes might be an asset.

My garden, for instance, has been reduced to the free-seeding annuals and hardy perennials that take care of themselves. And I don't mean my flowery hedge -- I mean my vegetable garden, the one that's supposed to save me lots of money in groceries. More attention there might be beneficial.

And I haven't finished Pearl Buck because I can't muster the focus to count rows on the collar. Really. That's all that remains. Cobblestone toddles along because I don't have to think -- it's the perfect "in between" kind of project. Five minutes? No problem, no counting, just knit and do the garter bands.

Paying more attention to the bees as spring build-up happens would also be a good idea. The queen sort of "wakes up" in January/February around here and starts building up a large number of daughter workers and drone sons so that there are boys to mate with any virgin queens that might be flying around and the workers can bring in the spring nectar flow. Jut occurred to me that I would have made a terrible bee. They're the essence of focus, and honey the essence of their focus.

But when the beekeeper is too busy mopping the floor and talking about the causes of the 20th century Russian Revolutions doing other things in a flitting-around way, then the hive gets crowded with all those daughters. Something has to give. If you consider that the hive is really the organism, and the individual bees the cells, it's like an amoeba splitting. Babies happen:

That's the swarm that pupped off of my bigger hive. So in the middle of a packed, detail-filled, interruptive kind of day, I had to drag out an old hive and hive this swarm. I did, then realized it wasn't the hive I wanted to use and now I need to move them again (sorry, bees). But all's well that ends well, as someone very smart once noted, and in my efforts to make up for my neglect, I also harvested about a gallon of honey from the hive and culled a bunch of drones (sorry, boy bees).

Once I re-hive the swarm and harvest from the smaller hive, in an attempt to stave off yet another crowding-related swarm, I'll be able to let them be for another month or two. And that fits best with my M.O. Maybe I'll even finish a sweater before I have to harvest again? That would be sweet, indeed.


Robin said...

I only do perennials myself - just flowers at this point, but I guess I didn't realize that there are vegetables that are perennials as well!!! Hmm, may have to investigate which ones. I'm all about planting it once and being done with it.

Hey, I told one of my co-workers about that paper you were grading a while back that made you cry. We were discussing how bad the general state of written communication has gotten and I felt compelled to bring it up. It started because someone I work with tried to tell me that a word I used was not a word (too big for him, sigh) and so I sent him the link from to prove it.

Charity said...

I love hearing about your bees! Beekeeping is one of those things I'd LOVE to try... some day. :0)

At least you're able to do some gardening - we had snow yesterday morning. Again. It's gone now, but still. That's just rude.

allisonmariecat said...

I was just wondering what the bees were up to! I love reading about them. Culling sounds like something I would be unable to do, even if it's for the greater good. How is the honey you harvest, incidentally?

I'm a multitasker, too. To a fault. Picking up knitting was great for me because it was something to do while I watched tv. Otherwise, I would do email type stuff while watching something and not really be paying attention. Sometimes I try to just focus on one thing and it's blissful. Feels indulgent.

I must get on the whole vegetable garden thing. I just haven't had the energy or focus.

Kristy said...

Please PLEASE please look for me tomorrow. I would so love to meet you. There is a picture of me on my blog (if you search self portrait you'll see me). That would be so awesome to meet you. I will keep an eye out for you and your multiple children, too!

Katherine said...

Yay bees! I've missed them. We've just used our bug book to identify the Red-Tailed Bumble Bee in our backyard (Liam's on a kick).

So how, exactly, do you cull the drones?