June 27th, miscellaneous last few days

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view of “our” beach from above 

I have been really slacking on postings and also on writing more about the bees themselves and all their elegant intricacies. The good news is Agape and Kwao have encouraged me to stay longer so I have more time to learn and write and soak in the sun. Here are some brief recent highlights. Today: made bee food (sugar water) and fed the bees. This IS NOT recommended except under circumstances where the bees might starve or fail without food. It is far better for the bees’ health to eat the honey that they create. It is also better for the ecosystem they live in because they are then pollinating flowers and crops. We only fed two small split hives not all of the hives in the apiary. If this was a normal year with a strong flow of honey we would not have needed to do this. A split hive is when a normal hive gets big enough that the beekeeper is worried it may swarm. Swarms are when the bees make a new queen and the old queen leaves with a bunch of her bees to find a new home. Although swarming is good in some respects because it produces a new, young, vibrant queen for the hive it is also a nuisance because you have a large cluster of bees you must either catch or lose. Splits are a good alternative. When a hive gets large enough the beekeeper will remove some brood combs and some resource combs and put them into a new hive. As long as the brood comb has eggs in it the bees who go to the small hive will be able to create their own queen. Tada!

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Kayla and I at Strawberry Point

The oldest boys took us up to Strawberry Point a few evenings ago. The highlight for them was definitely the gross dead (part of a) goat that they found. Also, showing me a crashed car and telling me someone drove it off the cliff. In reality, people have been dumping cars over the cliff edge. I have not really exercised since I’ve been here so I’ve been getting by on all the bush walks we’re doing. Also, yoga poses and stretches with Cuji who is 2. Yesterday though Kwao took us on a long hike up the river gully. We hiked all the way up to one of their other farms on the top of a mountain which was arduous, especially for Kwao. The path was completely overgrown so he had to cutlass our way through the bush while the boys yelled at each other to walk faster. Coming down we went through Kwao’s cousin’s ganja farm.

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jamaica’s most famous crop 
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