The Pain of Research

I’m writing, well, trying to write a short story that includes bee hives and honeycombs. Last Sunday while I walked to the farmers’ market I realized I needed to research how beekeepers pull frames from the hives, and how they extract honey from the wax honeycombs. It had to be low-tech because the story is set in a post-post-industrial society.  Or post apocalyptical-pre-industrial society, or something. Anyway.

I wandered from booth to booth, buying fresh basil, kale, some small red pears that were velvety and slightly granular to the tongue, very sweet (and they baked perfectly); a package of sausage, some salmon and some lump crab meat. Then I went to Hector’s booth, because since Nancy stopped growing them, Hector has the best onions in the market. I got two gleaming white onions (Hector followed Nancy’s lead and takes the outer skins off) and two torpedo-shaped purple onions. I went up to the front of the booth, underneath the tent, to pay Hector. While he weighed the onions, I stared blankly at his jars of honey, sunlight lancing through them in bright streaks of gold, wondering where I was going to find out how to extract honey from a honeycomb. While I was paying him I looked at the back of his truck, where the name of his business is printed. Hector’s Honey. I wished him a good way and started to walk out of the booth.

Then I figured it out.

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