Catalogs! And a story...

Occasional spring-like weather, longer days, grass showing through the snow (though 3-5" forecast for tonight and snow likely over the next 5 days), and now the arrival of the catalogs in the mail, Dadant, Mann Lake, etc., all serve to increase our anticipation of spring's arrival and "real" bee season.
Looking at the Mann Lake catalog, I remembered a funny story from last summer when we visited the facility, located in Hackensack, Minnesota.  We were staying as guests of our friends, James and Dana, who had invited us to spend a week with them at their family cabin, named Point House (call it a gorgeous resort!) on nearby Big Sand Lake.  We had  taken a short drive to check out the little Scamp camping trailers, which are also constructed in that area.  On our way back, we pulled up to a stop sign near a large building, looked up and saw the name Mann Lake on the side.  We hadn't even been thinking about the fact that this company was located in Hackensack, but we immediately pulled into the drive and went in to see what they had in their showroom.
We were shown around the showroom by an employee who is also a beekeeper.  Of course, we talked about bees and the trials and tribulations of keeping them.  In northern Minnesota, there are some concerns we normally wouldn't have here in eastern Iowa--namely black bears.  She had been having difficulties with a bear recently and was anxiously awaiting bear hunting season, which was not far off as I recall, as her brother had guaranteed he would eliminate her problem.  A couple days before we were there, she had gone out to the bee yard to find her hive bodies and frames scattered all over the yard, torn completely apart by the bear.  The bees, of course, were in a highly agitated state, and it took quite a lot of work and, I imagine, nerves, to reassemble everything with angry bees buzzing all over the place.  She finally got everything put together, but several bees just kept after her all the way to the house.  She was able to get inside after awhile without having them follow her in.  An hour or so later, someone came to the door with a delivery.  No sooner did she open the door than two of the bees, who must have been lingering about outside, immediately attacked her and stung her on the hand.   She showed us her fingers, which were still very swollen.  Strangely, they did not attack the person at the door but must have felt she was the one they wanted to get, though she had done all the work putting things back together for them!
I wonder if her brother ever got that bear.
Kathy and Dana in the dining room of Point House


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