Beeing There

PWRBA SignToday was about bees in a couple ways. My local group, the Prince William Regional Beekeepers Association, held an open house for anyone interested in Bee School this coming January. That certainly includes me, so I drove over to the meeting to find a room full of potential beekeepers. There were some books, magazines, equipment, and discussion available. Nothing new but spoke with the president and some other folks I had seen at the meeting I attended last month. It’s nice to think about interacting with the group on a regular basis.

Grandpa and Me 1

With my grandfather Rev. Willard Stanley Pratt in front of his candle house. He kept around two dozen hives and produced honey, comb, and beeswax candles.

Later in the day, I pulled out my childhood photo album looking for the two pictures on this page. I remember visiting my grandfather’s beehives when I was a young lad. I figured I was 12 or so, and have always regretted that I couldn’t stay with him. I became scared of all the bees flying around and went back to the house while he tended the bees.

Erik and Grandpa

This is me with my grandfather in August 1972. I was seven years old and went down with him to look at his hives (down the hill and to the left outside of this picture). Unfortunately I was scared of so many bees flying around, and didn’t stay down there long.

It turns out this memory is from 1972, when I was seven years old. We would visit my grandparents every summer, often for two or three weeks. They lived in an idyllic little house called The Red Shutters on Block Island, a small island around 13 miles off the Rhode Island coast. My grandfather raised around two dozen hives while my grandmother made jams from the blackberries, rose hips, and other berries that grew naturally on the island. I used to spend hours watching my grandfather work in his candle house making hand dipped and molded candles. I have some great memories from those summers.

So it turns out I ran away from a field full of hives and thousands of angry bees when I was seven years old. Somehow, that doesn’t seem so bad and nothing to regret.

Bee School, as my local group calls it, starts on January 22 next year. Hopefully the bees won’t seem so scary this time around.

The movie Being There was the last film made by actor Peter Sellers before he passed away in 1980. It tells the tale of Chance the gardener, a simple-minded man who encounters the outside world when his benefactor dies. I remember enjoying the firm in theaters when it was released.

3 thoughts on “Beeing There

  1. In the end you turned around and became a beekeeper, nothing to be ashamed about at all! That’s a lovely story about your grandparents, they fill the most wonderful childhood memories. I also remember watching a Peter Sellers film with my grandmother and crying with laughter.


  2. Catching up on my blog reading after a surprise birthday holiday and before going away for Christmas, it was lovely to re-read this. A merry Christmas to you and your bees, I look forward to more insect adventures next year! 🙂


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