Adventures in Botany and Apiculture

Though it was Juliary already, the middle of autumn, Hulleh Honeytongue decided it is better to start late than never. She had a garden to fill with fragrant blooms and she would not be deterred. The fact that she did not know the actual names of the flowers she was seeking was somewhat of an obstacle, as was the hornet’s nest in her shed, but she was determined to succeed. Vaboz Bumble did not impart his knowledge to her for nothing.

She first had to find a handful of Pretty Longstalks and she would not be doing it alone as many visited her apiary after hearing of her troubles. The first to arrive was Esei Shee-Slaugh, quickly followed by Huskii Myeras, Tridemon Regalis, and Galaphyrae Talnara. The four of them put their heads together and quickly figured out Hulleh must be speaking of relatively common plants like heather or lavender. Though her sketches resembled the plants in question the way a sunflower resembles the sun, they set out to find the plants regardless.

They had to travel far and wide for the chill winds of Avechna’s Teeth were ushering an early winter into the Tolborolla Valley and most blooms there were past their prime or would not survive replanting. Esei was first to find what Hulleh declared to be Prickly Blooms, also known as thistle, and brought the avid beekeeper to dig some up in Hifarae Hills. Tridemon found heather in the Grey Moors, the aforementioned Pretty Longstalks, while Galaphyrae found Happy Bee Flowers – sunflowers – at the foot of Avechna’s Peak.

While they were looking for the first four flowers, more visitors arrived at the Honeytongue Apiary to lend their assistance and botanical knowledge. Among them were Lorina Shevat, Illyria An’Ryshe and Gael An’Ryshe, and Astrasia Strongleaf. While Huskii was still looking for Soothing Stalks, Illyria set out to find some Aromatic Clusters and Lorina undertook to find Colourful Dangles.

Gael was surprised to hear such peculiar names given to well-known plants but too polite to share whatever thoughts he had on the subject. Instead, he quickly identified honeysuckles as likely candidates for Colourful Dangles but in the ensuing confusion regarding who is looking for what, it was still a while before he could pass on that knowledge to Lorina.

Meanwhile, Astrasia ventured to the Glasswing Promenade in search of Soothing Stalks, only to find lantana trees that looked very much like sketches of Aromatic Clusters. Even so, Huskii, who suspected Soothing Stalks to be lavender for a while now, finally came across them in the Grey Moors. After that, Lorina located honeysuckles in Oleanvir Valley and Illyria identified a good spot with lantana trees in the Promenade.

Hulleh accompanied each volunteer to where the blooms were and was able to gather quite a few plants for her garden. Once her buckets were full, she set about to plant her garden, taking care to be gentle with the plants in their new home. Though some, like lantanas, stood little chance of taking root or surviving winter, the goal was to attract bees to Hulleh’s newly constructed beehives spread outside the apiary. And attract they did as the soft buzz of industrious bees was soon heard after the planting was done.

But though the bees knew they had a new safe harbour with the Honeytongue Apiary now, there was much to be done still. Despite her determination, Hulleh could not imagine fighting a hornet’s nest after already narrowly avoiding rocs and snakes on her journey to Oleanvir with Lorina earlier that day. Thankfully, Esei offered to handle it for her, while Galaphyrae and Tridemon handled the rest of the daily chores so Hulleh could rest and enjoy the newly opened business.

Though it will still take some time for the apiary to become fully functional, Astrasia had the pleasure of collecting the first Honeytongue honeycomb.