Bees, beach, and family, plus hiking and camping in New England at 101F.

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Summer vacation in New England had three objectives this year. First, we visited with my Mom and family at my sister’s beach house in Niantic, CN and had a wonderful time there. My three children were there also. After that we attended a treatment-free bee conference in Leominster, MA for four days while tenting nearby. “Treatment-free” has a specific meaning – these are bee keepers who do not use chemicals or antibiotics in their hives, do not feed bees junk to make lots of junk honey, and make a point of using “natural” (not muscled-up modern oversized) bees. All three of these practices have become standard for almost all beekeepers, including the small farmer down the lane who sells honey from a roadside stand. “Treatment free” is as uncommon with bees as for humans to refuse any antibiotics. Thus, this special conference. We learned a great deal and particularly enjoyed meeting some interesting people and the conversations that resulted. Singing around the campfire at night was an added plus.

We ended our vacation with camping at Granville State Forest, the most nowhere place in MA. No mountains (water and swamps instead), no swimming, no camp store, and 16 sites tucked away down a dirt road (we got the most remote spot). Our little fridge blew a fuse early in the trip, so we ended up living on veggies we had brought from our garden, cereal, flat bread (Fran's favorite yeast will die 135F, and it did), and water and Ovaltine "milk." We hiked every day. Sure felt hot when we were hiking and at night. Only back when home did we check Accuweather and learn that it was 101F in Granville on the day that this picture was taken. A fun vacation.