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May & Vance

The first time I met May and Vance I was startled when right in the middle of our first halting conversation they responded abruptly to a sound they heard outside their cabin. They stood up, went outside and saw their bee hives were swarming. In a rush May went and got a cow bell. Vance pulled his guitar out from under the bed. They both left the cabin, stepped into the front yard and began making as much noise as they could with their chosen instruments.

In their world, superstition holds that if you make a continuous loud thumping and clanking noises the thousands of bees will hover in a giant swarm, rather than fly off into the open spaces, and come to rest on the limb of a nearby tree.  Once they are gathered in a large mound, they can be carefully knocked free of the branch and the mass will drop down into an open hive carefully placed below.

I never experienced anything like this in my life before. A couple of hours passed. Their plan worked!  We returned to our earlier conversation which was now filled with wonderful stories about folklore, regional traditions and beliefs. !970

[a selection of photographs from the complete portfolio]

Note: a video journal of this subject is currently in development and will be posted here when complete.

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