Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Monday, October 8, 2012

Montana Bee Lands

 We are in Darby, Montana having a brief visit with Rocky, a friend who is a bee keeper and friend from Chico, where we live. Rocky has three homes-- here in the BitterRoot, in Oregon and also in California. As a bee-keeper he has to go where there is food for the bees.
The thing above is called a Beaver Slide and is used for stacking hay... it's an amazing what you'd think to use for maybe scaling the walls of a castle.
 He has electric fencing around many of his bee "yards" because the black bears, as we all learned from Winnie the Poo, love honey. He's had one of his bee yards ravaged by a bear and the concern about them is why we got to go around with him checking the various bee yards.
 The air quality has been bad since we came into Missoula yesterday. This has been a terribly dry summer and there have been relentless fires in the west. We thought the smoke was really bad but apparently it's gotten better.
Today driving around with Rocky we saw dozens of white-tailed deer but also this skunk. First skunk of the trip! (That will be enough, thanks.)
Rocky, like us and the ducks and geese above, will be back in California soon. He'll be there to winter some of the bees there. Others will winter in a heat controlled warehouse. It's a complex and labor intensive specialty. One thing I thought was really interesting was that the bees make less honey in drought years... fewer flowers, less hydration? I'm glad Rocky's bees are healthy and thriving though, that's the main thing.
Another thing is for certain. There is no shortage of this red Vote Republican sign here in Montana. No shortage of fundamentalist Christian shows on the radio. It's a different mindset here but from what I hear the people are as good as people anywhere and love their lands.


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