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Enduring heat to see State Fair bee exhibit

By Brett Kent / For the Enterprise

Welcome back to the beehive. As I sit here and write this column, I am recovering from a grueling day at the State Fair. I hold Brenda personally responsible for all that I had to endure today. You see, Brenda talked me into going to the State Fair, saying that I should go see the honey bee exhibit.

That maybe we would see something we could

incorporate into our farmers’ market presentation, or maybe we would see a new honey product that we could offer.

So me, trying to be the best beekeeping husband I could be, I say sure. Sunday morning we wake up and head for the Twin Cities. The weatherman on the radio keeps talking about how it is going to be a record-setting hot temp with a heat index that will make it feel much worse than it is. I’m thinking, sometime it hurts to be the best beekeeping husband that you can be. LOL.

So, we make it to the fairgrounds and get out of the bus and it hits us. OMG. It’s hotter than the weatherman said it was going to be. I start complaining. Brenda is trying to rally the troops, but I’m thinking, this is going to be the hottest day of my life. I never said it was easy being the married to an average beekeeping husband. LOL.

We enter the fairgrounds and make our way into the bee exhibit. It was really fun to see how the honey producers association presented the different observation hives and honey competitions. The also had a screened off area where they actually opened up a live hive and explained how things work in there.

So we leave the bee exhibit, and then Brenda kicked things into high gear. She made me walk from one end of the fairgrounds to the other. First she ate a dairy shake from the dairy exhibit. Then she had French fries. I’m hiding in the shade, sweating so bad my glasses won’t stay up on my nose. All I can hear is people talking about how much you can sweat before you tip over. I keep telling Brenda that it is miserable, and we should go home.

Brenda says OK, but

that she wants a pronto pup, some cotton candy, and a bucket of those fresh chocolate chip cookies before we go home. So we start running around like a mouse in a maze, looking for all the things. I need to get out of the heat. We found the pronto pup and the cotton candy right away. Then we walked all over looking for the cookies. We couldn’t find them.

Brenda found an ice cream cone to tide her over until we scored the cookies. Finally, we asked the information people. We were told they were a couple blocks away. We had to wait for two parades to pass before they would let us cross the street. I’m in need of an IV by now. Finally we see the cookie stand and Brenda says, just stay here in the shade, I’ll get the cookies. After 10 minutes Brenda returned with a $15 bucket of cookies. Then I hear the ambulance coming and I’m thinking it’s coming for me, but it drives right by. So I muster up enough energy to make it to the bus which will get us back to our car. What a day! So, you ask, how are the bees? Well, I can report that the bees are at the tail-end of the honey producing season. The extreme hot and dry weather of the last three weeks has dried out most of the vegetation and the flowering plants don’t have much nectar to offer the bees. That being said, it looks as though this year’s crop of honey will be very good quality, and a pretty fair yield. We will begin taking the surplus honey from the bees this week.

In the next column, I will show some photos of the harvest and let you know how it goes. As always, you folks take care.

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