Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Of Bees, Houses and Other Stuff
You don’t often meet people like Jeff and Sandy Jenner. They do things big and they do them well. And as far as I could tell in the small amount of time I spent on their spread in Franklin County, they enjoy every minute of it.
We went there to do a story on bee keeping. I’ve seen the newsroom do dozens of bee stories over the years, but I’ve never done one myself. I figured if I dug around a little, a unique angle would present itself.
I’d say I had half a dozen in the first five minutes.
For a while, I considered not even talking about bees. Jeff and Sandy showed us the mirror garden – it looks the same from both sides of the road. Then came the fabulous Victorian home with an R-50 insulation rating thanks to the concrete walls and two Rapunzel worthy turrets. Of course Jeff designed and built it all himself. Sandy is a master gardener; so all the greenery is hers. And the “gingerbread” trim on this home? Sandy cuts it by hand in her wood shop. Oops, almost forgot. Slate roof – Jeff installed it himself.
See where this is going?
Of course, there would be no bees if Sandy hadn’t planted an entire orchard. It flowered beautifully, but if you watched the story, you know that it produced no fruit. Why – because there was no pollination.
Enter the bees.
Jeff starts raising bees. Gets really good at it. Knows what every bee is thinking every minute of its life from before it is born to the time it dies. He knows how to make hives make queens and queens make new hives.
That’s what we did the story on.
Let’s just say that if ever there is a slow news day, I’ve got a few stories in reserve.
Did I mention Jeff is a master scuba diver?
I neglected to ask Jeff if it was ok to publish his phone number. If you would like to contact him, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put you in touch with Jeff.