We first chanced upon the inverted triangle of a beehive as we stepped out from beneath the vine of grapes, having looked for a bunch to pluck in vain. Most of the grapes were still green, not yet ripe and really sour when we tasted them.
The beehive was a surprise; for hadn’t the children been climbing the guava tree? It was also a little scarey, what if the bees stung us as we went about looking for fruit and walking in that part of the lawn, just for the pleasure of hearing the leaves crunch under our feet.
The discovery preceded the day we had a storm and some rain. Expectedly, lights went out as soon as a strong wind started. It was in fact the norm. The power cut stretched into the night and then all of the next morning and there was no water either. With no expectation of us getting back to living with the modern amenities of electricity or running water, we sent the children to stay with their grandparents.
The next few days did not give us enough time to fret over the fact that there were bees in the house, that we would have to be careful, that we may have to get some help in driving them away. Vaguely I thought of the stories I had read of tribals who harvest honey. With trepidation, I walked around the guava tree with much distance between me and that branch.
Five days later, as the children arrived back the beehive got enough curious glances and estimates of how much it had grown. It hadn’t. And the next morning, just like that, there was no hive.
I forgot the stories of honey collecters, instead what buzzed in my head now were titles of Erle Stanley Gardner novels, The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito, The Case of the Silent Dog and so on, along with wondering how Perry Mason and Stella would have approached this.
Bees abandon their hives but they don’t take it away. Bee collectors extract honey, and if they want to take away the hive, they wouldn’t do so without asking us. Intruders? But the dog would have alerted us. Supernatural happenings? This house is alive, I know, in so many ways but it’s not haunted.
Uh, Google this? Even if we have to do with the bare basics, internet is a non negotiable luxury. And we finally got our answer. It sems, it wasn’t a hive at all but just a swarm of bees resting on its way to a permanent home. Just a swarm of hundreds of bees. That explained their sudden appearance and disappearance. And that explained why I saw no bees buzzing about. They had no young ones to protect.
That’s one worry off my head. But as I said, the house is alive and nurtures flora and fauna and many life cycles. I now have honey dripping on my kitchen counter from a crack in the overhead chimney. It’s the beginning of the next quest to uncover a beehive.
This post is part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.