When my son was five years old, we read a book about bees, and his eyes lit up like a hornet’s nest. He declared earnestly, with deep seriousness, that we had to get a beehive. We watched movies; we checked out more books. We lived in a suburban neighborhood (with a HOA, with rules) with a concrete backyard. I knew I couldn’t take on a bee hive. But I had to help my son. Day after day he pestered me about bees.
Luckily as I looked around, one person raised her hand in Missouri. Mica talked to my kids all about honey bees, the grubs, larvae, and pupae, the queen, drones, and workers. Then she suited everyone up in beekeeper suits–in the heat of summer, no less–and introduced us to the fascinating world of keeping honey bees. The kids blew smoke and peered into boxes as Mica lifted layers to inspect her hives.
Suddenly I was off the hook for getting my own bees. The itch had been scratched–until my son decided he had to excavate dinosaur bones in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. That’s another story. We keep in touch with Mica from time to time, and we feel more a part of the community in Northeast Missouri now.
The bee experience taught me that curiosity is an excellent way to plan travel. It’s engaging. And it’s connecting. We may not all plan trips around bees, or dinosaurs, or any one subject. But whatever we are curious about, resources will surprise us, appearing just as we need them. New relationships may be forged.
I’m grateful to Mica for teaching us about bees, and for letting us into her world on a commune in the beautiful rural Missouri countryside. Yes, we got to taste the honey. The whole experience was sweet.
Here’s a video of our day beekeeping with Mica. (If you are reading this in an email, please use this link for the video my YouTube Channel).
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