... and they did build

23 Nov 2012
Case study: 
comb in the glass
A surprise at last.

On the day before the Fiesta del Maize y Maguey exhibition was opened in the Ethnobotanic garden, we went to Don Pablo's apiary, to pick up the glass sculptures. There was a road block - announced already in the morning - due to a strike of teachers from Oaxaca. The obstruction was very local, but it effected precisely the one road leading to Don Pablo's place. Instead of 45 minutes, it took us over 2 hours in a collectivo taxi.
Finally, at the bees, we opened the protective box - and against all odds - they had decided to build! Some fresh, white wax comb on the top of the glass sculpture, and some at the bottom, sticking out through the opening! Fantastic.
The experiment had been successful, the honeybees had accepted the difficult material.
We took the sculpture off, and tried to chase most of the bees out of their newly built housing, but Don Pablo did not have much time, that day. So, we packed up and Don Pablo left us on the street corner to wait for a cab.
Jonathan, the photographer, An from nadine and me decided to wait some more for the last bees to leave and the road block to dissolve.

We sat in a little corner shop and ordered a beer. Not long, and the owner of the shop came with a jerry-can -we should try the Mezcal, a very special product from a friend of his- and poured some into a 0,2 plastic Coca Cola bottle that he had prepared for such occasions.
We tried - excellent stuff - thank you. Meanwhile, the bees slowly left the glass sculpture, the sun went down, and we took little sips of the Mezcal. The shop owner Lauro - meanwhile we learnt his name - drank with us, and had lots of questions. After repeatedly refilling the little plastic bottle from his jerry-can, he knew that we had to take the glass sculpture back to the Botanic Garden in Oaxaca. - No problem, he will close the shop in a few minutes anyways, and we can get a ride with him to town. An liked the Mezcal a lot, but got a bit nervous - Lauro was drinking with us, and would he then be the one driving us?

Some moments later, the sculpture in the trunk, and off we went - with Lauro driving. But he had to stop on the way at a friend's house - disappeared and came back with 2 beer cans and 2 glasses of Mezcal, a different Mezcal with Pericon, for the ladies ... a special one, we had to try.
On we went to the Botanic garden, feeling the strong aguardiente more and more, as we tried the new version, in a glass now.
We arrived safe at the garden, after dark, and quite tipsy. Lauro continued his journey alone, after giving us another little plastic bottle that he had in his jacket - for later.

fresh comb, strong colony, using smoke