What’s the buzz?

Published 11:00 am Saturday, August 9, 2014

I am hopeful that by the time you read this, Cain and yours truly will be working on a story about bees for our special section on Heritage Day, which occurs on Saturday, Sept. 13. However, all things depend on whether the weather cooperates this morning. Our contact said the other day that rain was in the forecast. Apparently bees, like people, don’t work well outdoors when there’s rain.

The managing editor has an itchy trigger finger and wants to use it on his camera instead of a keyboard. Just the other day his shiny new lens arrived, which will allow him to get up close and personal with bees at a relatively safe distance. I’m just curious as to what’s involved in cultivating those tireless insects, and of course to get a taste of honey from the hive.

Presuming there will be one of those special suits to protect me, I’m not too worried about being stung or even having an allergic reaction.

That’s based on my one and only experience. A few years ago while I was lying on my bed and reading, I shifted position and rolled over onto what felt like a hot needle piercing my right knee.


Leaping up, I quickly discovered the motionless — and stingless — body of a bee on the bedspread. In addition to the lingering pain, I felt bad that such an industrious creature met such an ignoble fate. I said a prayer for him.


I’d like to say that I’m again looking forward to the upcoming Franklin-Southampton County Fair, but the truth is I’ve not attended even the first one in the past few years while working at the newspaper. One thing and another has usually interfered. But, yes, I’ve also been a bit weary. For nearly 20 years at The Suffolk News-Herald, there was the Peanut Fest that always required putting together a special section beforehand. In addition, co-workers and I were out there everyday to get whatever photos and stories we could find. After several years, though, I came to dread the event, which to me had become run-down.

Nonetheless, I intend to see what people bring to the horticulture and produce competition, and will do so by previewing the arrivals brought in Tuesday. Lest I forget to make the pitch, though, the fair will be from Wednesday, Aug. 13 through Saturday, Aug. 16. Look for our tabloid in today’s edition detailing what’s what and who’s who.

Speaking of which, you might recall that Florida-Georgia Line performed last year, and I’m kind of sorry I missed them before the dynamic duo made it to the big-time in the new country music scene. Another confession, though: I’m not (yet) a big fan of that style. Too often the men and women look more like they should be modeling underwear and lingerie rather than singing about ‘Oh, mom and dad and God bless America.’

But maybe I’m just prejudiced in favor of Waylon, Willie and the boys back in Lukenbach, Texas. I miss June, Johnny, Tammy and George. Rest their souls.

STEPHEN H. COWLES is the staff writer at The Tidewater News. He hangs his head in shame whenever he thinks about how he used to sneer while his dad would listen to Johnny Cash. Contact him (Stephen, not Johnny) at 562-3187 or stephen.cowles@tidewaternews.com.