The sound of bees humming is audible all around at the Straight from the Hive bee farm where a number of hives are literally buzzing with activity.
Richard Lercari, the beekeeper who runs Straight from the Hive, is very much a bee person. He has a bee hat and wears bee socks and speaks about his interest in bees.
“I’m totally fascinated by bees,” Lercari said. “I can spend all day just watching the entrance to the hive.”
Lercari used smoke in order to make the bees think about abandoning the hive, which makes it easier to check the combs. The potential of a thunderstorm that day, he said, also makes them more likely to be placid because they can sense weather.
He said the bees won’t sting unless they feel threatened by somebody taking a swipe at one of them.
Dressed in his heavy bee suit on a hot morning, Tuesday, June 8, Lercari is checking each individual hive component for the queen. He goes through each individual panel until he finds her and points out the white dot on the bee marking her out. The panels are covered with bees and there are close to a hundred in that hive alone.
But Lercari said that bees will safely coexist with him until he has to start extracting honeycombs.
“They are not pets and they have only one thing in mind: survival of the colony,” Lercari said.
He says that he checks the hives frequently to see if the queen is laying eggs and how much of the brood, the male bees, have hatched.
“You’re supposed to talk to the bees. You’re supposed to confide in them about important parts of your life,” Lercari said, saying that doing so was a beekeeping tradition.
Lercari said he got started beekeeping because he got interested in using honeycomb for cooking.
“It wasn’t that big of a stretch to go from cooking food to making honeycomb,” Lercari said.
ART LECTURE – 2 p.m. Discuss naturalist author Susan Fenimore Cooper and her work ‘Rural Hours’ with leading scholar Rochelle L. Johnson and what her contributions mean in the era of climate change. Free, registration required for Zoom conference. Dontions of $10 or more requested. Presented by Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
FILM SCREENING – 7 – 9 p.m. Join the Oneonta Federated Garden Club for free virtual screening of ‘The Pollinators,’ a documentary film following migratory beekeepers around the country as they pollinate commercial fields. Learn about the challenges facing the beekeepers and our current food system. Live panel discussion and Q&A to follow. Registration required. www.facebook.com/Oneonta-Federated-Garden-Club-133855897358767/
COUNTRY LIVING FEST – 1 p.m. Celebrate country life with vendors, cornhole tournament (1-6:30), pumpkin patch, farmers’ market, more. Includes demonstrations on backyard beekeeping, floral arrangements, fly fishing, cider pressing, metal detecting, more. Kallan Fields, Well’s Ave., Hartwick. 607-293-8123 or visit www.facebook.com/TownofHartwick/
AWARDS PRESENTATION – 4:30 p.m. Features the presentation of the Ford C. Frick award for baseball broadcasting excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Gates open 3 p.m. Followed immediately by the Parade of Legends Doubleday Field, Cooperstown. baseballhall.org/events/Awards-Presentation-2017?date=0
THEATER – 2 p.m. Performance of ‘Love Letters,’ by A.R. Gurney, which tells the story of Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner via the letters they exchanged over their lifetime. The Production Center of the Foothills Performing Arts Center, 124 Market St., Oneonta. Info, (607) 432-5407 or GEStevens17@gmail.com
QUILT SHOW – 11 a.m.-4 p.m.. Thru Sunday Feb. 26. Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, www.cooperstownart.com
PLAY READING – 6:30 p.m. Reading of “Lord of the Wilderness” by local playwright Ron Nash. Telling the story of William Cooper and the founding of Cooperstown. Based on Alan Taylor’s book “William Cooper’s Town.”Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium, 5798 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info, www.fenimoreartmuseum.org