Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

We 'Mericans celebrate the 4th of July to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, declaring our independence from Great Britain, as the title suggests. But here are 2 amazing facts about July 4th, courtesy of a common wikipedia search:

1. The majority of the signers actually signed the Declaration on the 2nd of August, 1776. There was no official "signing party" per say. Here's what really went down: On July 2, 1776, The Founding Fathers got together and decided that the D.O.I. was pretty ill. They had a group high-five and subsequent dance party, and, white wigs touching in team huddle, predicted that July 2, that great day of agreement, would be forever celebrated by future Americans. Maybe a drunken Madison stumbled over to the stately, calligraphic scroll and signed right then and there. John Hancock, all pomp and circumstance, might have sketched his flowery namesake on July 27. Although the majority of the Founding Dads signed on August 2nd, the myth of the July 4th signing party started so early on that by the time Thomas "inalienable-rights-slave-owner-slash-father-of-slaves" Jefferson and Adam "distant-cousin-of-Sam-and-husband-to-Co-President-Abigail-2nd-prez" Adams were having senior moments, even they believed/remembered the big day as July 4th. Weird, right?

2. On July 4, 1826, Jefferson AND Adams died. Jefferson was 83 and Adams was 74. (I thought women died from consumption/childbirth when they were 25 and men from tertiary syphilis that caused globe-like tumors to consume brain, head, and whole body. (Or from drink.))

Anyway, I was hanging out with the CT bees this weekend marveling at their exquisite dependence on each other; one single bee, no matter worker, drone or queen, is nothing on its own. A single honeybee will die within 24 hours of isolation from her sisters. Its almost poetic. We tend to glorify independence, as our country is so deeply rooted in the concept. But dependence can be just as glorious; visit any honeybee colony for compelling evidence. There are not enough synonyms for "whimsical" to describe all the different types of magic that occur in a beehive.

I'm too tired to go through all the amazing photos Eliza took of this weekend's checkup on the hives, but stay tuned... the honey is flowing and the queens are making babies. Such a strange, strange world.


  1. Off to check on Nicarguan bees! I expec that they will be poetic and embody a revolutionary spirit!

  2. such beautiful writing! thank you for sharing your bees with me this weekend!