Friday, April 11, 2008

The Birds and the Bees, and the Bullfrog

I finally bought this book for the boys, about eggs, semen and what they can create. It also has other answers to possible questions they may be having. I learned at last year's Live and Learn Unschooling Conference, from what the teens had relayed in a round table discussion with Diana, that the kids really preferred having the books to a one-on-one sex talk with their parents. They also said that they were more comfortable talking to an adult friend that they trusted, about any questions they may have about sex, rather than to their parents. This makes sense to me. It doesn't mean that they aren't well-adjusted or trusting of their parents. It's just such a heated topic.

I left the book in the car and then in their room and saw that they both read it often within the first few days. I asked Gillen how it was and he said that he was really surprised by the great number of eggs that there are in women. He was so comfortable talking about this and about other things he'd learned. I remember being excruciatingly embarrassed when I had to ask my mom to finally get me a bra, let alone questions about sex. Maybe it is that he is growing up in nature, seeing the birds , the bees, the ducks and the turkeys breeding all the time. Plus, we never had "Animal Planet".

Speaking of the birds and the bees, we have lots of both brightening our world. Our mayor found out that we were looking to get more bees and took Nicolas and Gillen to his friend's house last night where there was a swarm of them. They easily transferred the bees to an empty hive. I figured that they'd bring it to the farm but they brought it here, to our back yard! I am so excited. I will be doing lots of research in order to finally have our own honey. We've had hives at the farm for a year but haven't given them enough attention and we lost one of the queens.

Seems the mayor likes bees better than he does squirrels. Remember, this is the same guy who offered to pay Gillen to shoot squirrels in his back yard.

Today, we watched the mayor and his wife drive right through our backyard until they were a few feet from the hives. They just stayed in their big old red car, silently watching the hive through the windshield, while we watched the Mayor and his wife through their side windows. They finally saw us and were shaken from their hypnotized bee reverie.

It's Spring. Down here, we're all a bit awed by the sudden signs of so much new life, by the many mating calls, and by all the pollen.

My favorite backyard animal:


Danielle said...

Wow, a swarm! That's awesome. Do you know if they have a queen?

Do you guys do any chemical maintenance? At my bee class, they kept insisting that a colony without early and late medication (i.e. not during honey production) would be a dead colony. Thoughts?

Your azaleas are drop dead lovely! Wow!

whimsigal said...

Madeline, we just had "the talk" with our boys because they had seen some things and, while they were a little freaked out by what they learned, it went so much better than I thought. I have no doubt though that they have more questions than they're comfortable sharing right now and I'm going to check out that book!

I have to second what Danielle said, your azaleas look incredible!


Madeline said...

Danielle, when I said that I was going to do research, I meant read a book and contact you! I am so glad that you took that class.;) I know of other beekeepers that have not used medication and have thriving hives. We have never used anything but I don't think this was the problem with this year's hive. It was our lack of attention to what was going on. I'm not going to use medication but will try to contact those beekeepers for more info.

As for the queen, we are assuming that there is one or they wouldn't have stayed together. I am going to check it out when my protective helmet and gloves arrive.

Deanne said...

Love the *explosion* of flowers by your porch! Just beautiful!

Vicki said...

I ended up having the talk with my then 9 yr old, while watching an episode of Family Jewels with Gene Simmons. Gene was capturing bull semen for profit and Jake wanted to know what semen was.....and so the talk happened. It went great that way, so much better than I was expecting...and I was pretty nervous about doing it, but Gene Simmons made it easy..lucky us :)

whimsigal said...

Madeline, I bought the book today and man, it's great! My boys were giggling a bit about the drawings of naked people but then they seemed really interested in just looking through it. Thanks for mentioning it on your blog, I probably wouldn't have known about it otherwise!


Pichinde said...

Those flowers are incredible! Stunningly beautiful. Enough to bring me out of lurkdom. :)

I was telling my dad I wanted bees in a few years and would need to buy some. He thought that was funny since they always got theirs from swarms in the area for free when they were growing up- neighbors would call them and have them come get the swarms out of yards, etc.


Cami said...

I'm in love with your azalea photo. It's probably good I don't live at your house, because my life would stop until the azaleas stopped blooming. I'd just sit on that porch with my cup of tea and daydream all day! SO lovely!

Madeline said...

Cami, my life does stop on one level. I am spending lots of time just staring at them and sighing.

Angie said...

Oh, the colors! Wow.

We just got our bees too. I'm sure they wish they had all those flowers yours have. Ours will be eating syrup for awhile.