Sunday, February 27, 2011

Illustration Friday - Swarm

Copyright © Cheryl Coville 2011

When we finally made the move from wage-slave city dwellers to impoverished owners of the Kingdom of Coco,  Mr. Coco was able to fulfill a long-time dream. He got himself some bees and hives and one of those cute little beekeeper suits. He dibbled and he dabbled and he was thrilled to get a great crop of honey that first year. And then, Grandma Coco got stung. On the face. Her head swelled up like something out of a monster movie. It was scary.

About this same time, there was trouble brewing for the entire bee keeping community. The varroa mite was attacking honey bees and the future looked dim. Lots of people were losing their hives to the mite and there weren't too many options for treatment.

So, Mr. Coco sadly sold his bees. The fellow who bought them was an about-to-be-released prisoner at a nearby minimum security prison. He was in some program which allowed inmates to learn a trade in preparation for their release. Great idea! He came one day on a supervised excursion and carted the bees off. Now, you have to know bees. When Mr. Coco bought his bees, they were transported under cover of darkness because the bees were in their hive then and supposedly more docile. However, we guess that if you're on day leave from your prison, then a day-time run is the best you can hope for. Miraculously, we don't recall having too much drama the day of the move. What we do recall is that a while later we heard back that it wasn't so much the honey that the fellow was after. Turns out he had a green thumb and he was using the bees to guard a certain 'crop' he had planted at their base! Genius!

This IF drawing is dedicated to Karen who, along with her husband, keeps bees in Nova Scotia (imagine blueberry honey!) and who was, herself, stung this week. But not by a bee because a bee will only hurt you if he feels threatened. People, on the other hand...


  1. What an interesting story. Love the way you told it. Love the kitty in the beekeeper suit!
    You are so creative!!!

  2. Your Illustrations are beautiful!Love the story.

  3. I just LOVE that picture - can't wait to show hubby. You are so talented, Grandma CoCo. How interesting you kept bees for a bit; we have come to love our bees very much. I developed an allergy also... after accumulating about 12 years of stings(!) so now I too suit up (although neither hubby or I did in the beginning). Sadly, as you note, there is no armour to protect from my most recent sting... other than to develop a thick hide, which is easier said than done. Thanks for your encouragement and support.


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