An Afternoon Beekeeping with Even Taylor

(I recommend listening to this song as you are reading this post!)

Most days I just feel busy, running around, doing a million things to reach the magical goals that have nothing to do with being busy. Then there are days like this one (pictured below) that allow me to remember why I do all the things I do. (And usually, they involve the afternoon, the perfect light and some friends.)

Even is a lovely kind of person. Something you can see very clearly by looking at the beekeeping hat she so carefully handcrafted. Which, is not nearly the best thing about her, but more of her vulnerable and genuine intent. She has such a clear connection with the bees, as well as the magical little intricacies of the natural world, it is anything but a fashion statement.

The day before me shooting this she could be found clanging sticks together at her divided swarm, in the tradition of the old beekeepers, who thought that the banging of sticks would soothe the bees into the nearest tree.

 Root’s _A_B_C_of_Bee_Culture_, 1905:
“In the old fashioned boxhive days, the ringing of bells and
the tanging of tin pans was considered very essential in
causing a swarm to alight.  These old-timers probably did
not know that the bees would cluster before going off, noise
or no noise.  Because they settled on some tree after each
tanging, such tanging was supposed to be essential.  At one
time this old custom was supposed to be a relic of an old
superstition: but it is now known that one of the old kings
of England once issued an edict that , whenever a swarm came
forth, the owner of it was to ring bells or drum on tin pans
to give notice that his bees were out, thus preventing any-
one else from claiming them.  What was done in an obedience
to an old law, for an entirely different purpose, has crept
down through the generations until the old significance is

These days I doubt your neighbor might try to steal your swarming beehive, but this connection to an old tradition is one that musters magical thoughts in me. Even is like that, a bit magical, with a heart of gold, and wonderful musician on top of that. Listen to her song “Honeycomb Heart”  and be brought close to tears (I have been listening to it on repeat as I write this) and check out these other photos of her in her bedroom. Happy Birthday to her today! I wish her many years of auspicious beekeeping!

One Response to An Afternoon Beekeeping with Even Taylor

  1. Jeannie says:

    Oh my gosh, your photos….see you this Thursday!!

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