Please meet Etienne James Hunter Pollard, Consummate Houseguest, Credit to Britain, and (now) Experienced Bee Wrangler. Jamie (we call him this, but you probably aren't allowed) has been a friend of the family longer than me, meaning that his parents knew my husband before I did. Nonetheless, it has been my pleasure to see him grow from secondary school through a round the world trip all the way through university and on to success in business, and I celebrated this by shoving a frame full of bees into his gloveless hands.
Just before being whisked off to the airport after his two week visit to many parts of the U.S., he was asked about (and showed enthusiasm for) a visit to the bees. He got to wear my better veil (hey, we here in the States try to know a little bit about hospitality, too!) and was very attentive and asked good questions when I popped the top off of Twain. Perhaps I should have asked him, or could have paid more attention to the little gasp that might have been emitted, before I pulled a frame and gave it to him.
To my mind, there is nothing like a frame full of honey and contented bees to spur the imagination. It's heavier than you think, it smells good, and it's hard to be afraid of an animal that so studiously ignores you while you manipulate its world.
Finally, our final photo shows Mr. Pollard as he stands fearlessly between two colonies of perhaps 50,000 bees each. One might mention a "stiff upper lip," "one more into the breach," and so forth, but I think the girls had actually shown him a good time.
Note: the management admits that this post and the pix were conceived on the date given, though published well after. We also know that we misquoted Tennyson. Sorry.