Thursday, October 25, 2007

Goodbye Charles

A member of the Ranch posse, our friend and beekeeper Charles Martin Simon, aka Charlie Nothing, passed away two nights ago. His health had been declining since around August.

In my last post about him capturing a swarm he was on crutches. At that time he was thinking it was possibly a herniated disk or hip problems. Then they thought it might be Lyme disease. By the time he was hospitalized about a week and a half ago the pain was intolerable. It turned out to be an advanced form of cancer.

He was a wise and unique person, a prolific writer, musician, and inventor. He was very kind and helpful to us. Our fruit trees have been significantly more productive since he brought us his bees.

Our condolences to his family and friends. We will miss him, and the bees he cared for will too.


  1. Dyane Leshin-Harwood5:57 AM

    I am very sorry to hear about your friend. He sounds like he was an awesome person. I love bees! I even have a secret dream to learn how to care for bees and harvest honey, but that takes a ton of work, right? ;)

  2. Thanks Dydy!

    I don't know really how much work it is since Charles was doing it all. I am interested and would like to learn how to do it, but am a little scared off by the likelihood of getting stung. It is amazing how gentle most honeybees are though.

    We haven't harvested any honey yet, so can't answer about that. I know you need special equipment to spin it. Charles was more interested in harvesting pollen, which is a different procedure.

    Have you read Secret Life of Bees? It's awesome and if you haven't, you will be even more inspired to raise bees after reading it!

    The world needs beekeepers, so it's a dream worth having, that's for sure.