Monday, May 7, 2012

Linda's first Package Bee Trip

Loading the trailer with package bees
    After owning the bee store for six years, an extraordinary thing happened this year.  Linda went to California with me to pick up the bees.  It really turned out quite well in spite of our respective weaknesses.  Linda seriously gimped herself out moving gravel a few days before we left. As a consequence she was in a fair amount of pain the entire trip.  In spite of her pain she was still pretty good company and was willing to drive more than I had expected.  As busy as we've been lately, it was very nice just to spend the time together.  I would consider that to be a good sign that we still like hanging out together after all these years. We stopped in Medford at about eight p.m. and ate dinner at Red Lobster  We arrived in Redding some time after midnight and booked the usual cheap room at the Motel Six.

     The next morning we spent a few hours looking for a drug store so we could find some appropriate medicated patches to lessen the pain in Linda's shoulder.  After the trip to the drug store and a quick lunch at Carl Jr.'s we headed over to load up the bees.  Steve Park was as friendly and helpful as always.  They loaded us up with another 410  three pound packages of honeybees and had us on our way back north by 3:30 p.m.  Linda said it was like she had seen it all before as we've taken a lot of pictures on past trips.  However, she did get to watch some of Steve's employees grafting queens. This consists of transferring new larvae into specially prepared queen cups so they can be placed into beehives and turned into queen bees. Watching a skillful person graft queens is pretty fascinating to your average bee geek.  Linda was polite enough to at least pretend to find it interesting.
Steve Park, who always seems to have a big smile

Another loading the trailer shot.

     When they loaded us up in Redding it was in the high seventies, warm and sunny.  I was very anxious to get the bees up out of the heat and drove with a little excess enthusiasm as we passed Weed, California.  My enthusiasm was rewarded with a speeding ticket from a California Highway Patrolman.  I thought he was a serous jerk, not because he gave me a speeding ticket which I deserved, but because he wouldn't let me get out and open the trailer doors to keep the bees from overheating.

     I had one other shot of adrenaline while driving through Portland.  I had been sleeping for the past hour or so when Linda wakes me up and asks if we are supposed to take the St. Helens exit.  As I wake up enough to answer "No" it was already too late.  We are exiting the freeway going who knows where into the depths of Portland.  By the time we reach a place where we can stop we are in an industrial area with no helpful signage. After I woke up enough to be coherent I looked at the map on my iPhone.  We turned the truck around and amazingly drove right back onto the freeway six blocks later.  That was probably the only freeway exit in Portland where we could have gotten back on the freeway that easily. Portland's freeways are a masterpiece of confusion. The rest of the trip went by without incident.  The scenery in Northern California and Southern Oregon was gorgeous.  Washington has some nice scenery too but it was dark by the time we crossed the bridge into Washington. We pulled into Snohomish at about 3:00 a.m. with Quentin and his crew waiting for us at the bee store to unload the trailer.  Linda and I just got into our car, drove home, and went to bed.

1 comment:

  1. wow. That was your first ticket in a while, wasn't it? Be careful with how you take care of it as Chris' dad was seriously screwed by the state of California for being out of state with his ticket. (seriously.) I am glad it was just a ticket and that you, mom AND the bees arrived home safely.