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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lesson #7: Don't Tell George She's Drunk!!!

Headed back down to Waldo to up another package of bees last Wednesday. Another 80 bucks. Lost the Queen to hive #2 and couldn't get a new one without 10,000 bees to come along with her. Thought it was going to be a pretty run-of-the mill pick up and installation. Didn't think it was possible to have another story but sure enough, I do.

We had to drive down to Waldo after work and pick up the bees in the tavern. Turns out the beekeeper we bought them from also owns the bar. When we got there we walked in and asked if we were in the right place. Someone pointed to the far end of the bar and stacked up on one of the bar tables was about 10 or so packages of bees. Now with the bee packages they are just metal screened sides so you can see, hear and smell (yes, they have a smell) all of the bees from outside the box. So even as a new beekeeper this was a pretty strange sight to see. I mean if I was a bar owner/beekeeper I would hide the bees in a closet or back corner or Something so I wouldn't scare customers away. But that's just me.

The tavern was fairly small but had a pretty interesting decor and it was pretty dead in there-Maybe two people having drinks (perhaps due to the approx 100,000 bees in close proximity?). My plan was to just pick up the bees and head back home which is about a 1 1/2 hr drive. Greg wanted to get a beer though so we sat down at the bar. I have to admit I really didn't feel like staying but I figured it was just one beer... We weren't sitting there for more than 10 minutes before a lady swung the front screen door open letting it slam. It was loud enough to catch our attention. She kind of stumbled up to the bar and said in an extremely loud and drunken Southern Ohio draw, "Don't tell George I'm Drunk!" Her voice sounded familiar and George being the name of the guy we bought our bees from and also the tavern owner, I put two and two together and realized it must have been his wife. I had talked to her on the phone a few weeks ago when I ordered the bees She seemed much more professional then.

This was just the beginning of what turned out to be a creepy, uncomfortable yet surprisingly entertaining evening. As Greg and I were chitchatting to ourselves a chihuahua appeared out of nowhere and trotted up and down the bar like it was a normal thing for him to do. He was cute and I was amused. I doubt the local health department would approve but who cared. I went with it. He was cute and let me pet him. There was a box of condoms right on the shelf next to all the hard liquor that they were selling for 25 cents apiece. There was a nice little display of home-made pork rinds and cracklings right next to that. On the other side of the room was a bid shelf with Waldo Bee's honey and above that a fake set of boobs hanging on the wall. All these things meld so well together....Oh and there were also children hanging out playing pool behaving as if it is a normal every-day occurrence.

At some point a couple other guys trickled in the bar. On plopped down right next to me. For a while he kept looking over at me and staring at me through the mirror of the bar until he finally worked up the courage to strike up a conversation. He introduced himself as one of George's assistant beekeepers. He was hired to replace the other guy who got fired for getting a DUI on the job. He told that the old assistant punched the cop who pulled him over right in the face. Does anyone else reading this blog agree that this isn't typically something people discuss with complete strangers?

What else did this guy tell us? A lot of stuff I can't remember now. I do remember that he sounded hammered too He slurred his speech and kept spitting on my arm while he talked. Greg just kept asking him questions which made him talk even more about stuff that didn't really make sense. He did say he drove our bees all the way from Georgia. At that point another guy with bad teeth and a bushy mustache (who at some point snuck in without me noticing) chimed in and asked if we've ever been to Georgia. We said only driven through and his response went something like this:

"Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain. Beautiful. You take 75 to 109...or maybe it was 78....anyways you gotta stop at this little ole motel. Its a real hole in the wall but its great. They even give you breakfast. Well you gotta go across the street to the restaurant but its good. Then at the stop sign you take a left and take that road all the way to....ever been to Cherokee? Took my daughter there when she was four months old. Got her picture taken with a real live indian...holdin' her...just like this....Don't ever go down there without a coat because when you come back through Cincinnati you'll get cold." Crazy, random I know.

Shortly after that Greg asked our new beekeeper friend where the restroom was. His response-"Do you want the ladies' or the mens'?"  I think it was the booze talking.

Anyways, like I said I can't remember everything we talked about but it was pretty hilarious. I know I am making fun of these people but I am trying to do it in a real lighthearted way. They were complete strangers who spent time actually talking to us and giving us tips. You just wouldn't do that, talk to a stranger, in a bar here in Bowling Green. Even though I was uncomfortable at first, I had a really good time talking to these hillbillies and honestly can't wait to go back next year.

Oh and the bees are in hive #2 getting settled in. Will check back in on them in a few days. Hopefully Greg's bees can keep their queen alive this time or I will have to give them all a lesson in nurturing.


  1. So you didn't have fried bologna while in Waldo. They may not invite you back.

  2. I know I know....I don't like bologna but we did buy the pork rinds :)

  3. I stopped in Waldo to get fuel on the way back from Columbus. Its a odd little town, even getting fuel you got the "You dont belong here" looks. Glad they let you leave. Sounds like they would have kept you if they could.

  4. That was one of my favorite bars I'v ever been to. Everyone was smoking, dogs on the bar, children, jars of bee pollen for sale, a list of people barred and the reason why such a crack and fighting. The beer was served in cans, and the cash regiter was 60 years old. Oh, and our change was in 2 dollar bills and dollar coins.

  5. Thanks for mentioning those Greg! I forgot all about them!!!

  6. How much sugar did you end up using for your sugar solution this first year? How do you winter the bees?