by Ruth Ann Grissom
May 8, 2018
We were less than a week into spring. The weather was cold and gray, but the landscape in my Charlotte neighborhood was Technicolor – emerald lawns, sunny daffodils, pastel phlox, Yoshino cherries and redbuds. Oddly enough, my eye was drawn to the drab trunk of a single willow oak, one of many lining the streets. About ten feet from the ground, there was a large, oblong cluster, golden against the mouse-brown bark. I recognized it immediately – a swarm of honeybees!
My husband, Marcus Plescia, is an erstwhile beekeeper. Over the past three decades, he’s tended many hives in the Uwharries. His inspiration was both practical and sentimental in nature – a more productive garden and a hobby shared with his English grandfather. In the early days, he ordered supplies from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, but his best bees – and his best stories – came from local sources. There was the inexplicably ill-tempered colony raised by a gentle, elderly man in Asheboro and the laid-back bees he got from a salty guy off Highway 49 who smoked them with an ever-present menthol cigarette. [Read more…]