Saturday, October 31, 2009

No Bees In The Burg

UPDATE: In a comment, I added a few good links. I'm also putting them here in the main story.
Virginia Beekeepers Association
VA Discovery Museum in Charlottesville keeps a colony
And for reference I went out and checked Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Winchester, Norfolk and VA Beach. None of these cities prevent beekeeping.

A little known, and unfortunate city code was brought to my attention tonight. In the City of Fredericksburg, Bee Keeping is a no-no. According to the city code/charter Chapter 14, Article VII, section 14-184 - It shall be unlawful to keep or permit to run at large any domestic fowl, pigeons, or bees or any like animal within the city limits.

Unlike many folks, I've had a swarm show up outside my front door (not in Fredericksburg). I thought I was lucky enough knowing a beekeeper. Unfortunately we couldn't get his equipment back to our townhouse before the neighbor called the city and the swarm was sprayed with a toxic substance. The loss of an entire swarm was terrible. It was a surreal experience to work with 10,000+ bees as if they were grains of sand. Sure there was one sting, but being able to easily more thousands of bees into boxes was an amazing sensation.

Many may not realize, but honeybees are crucial to everything from our food supply to the flowers that decorate our tables. And unfortunately, many honeybee hives have been devastated in recent years by a mite in a catastrophic event called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Long gone are the days like my grandfather would tell of, when he and friends would go out and collect natural honeycomb from hollow trees. One of the best tales of my young life was Pop telling of his brothers warning him against eating the honey too quickly, and him coming home with a swollen tongue after biting a honeybee.

Alas, our poor city is still keeping a law on the books akin to legally preventing someone from having a bald eagle nest.

PS, for anyone thinking - oh but what about a bee sting to an allergic person, would you be equally as alarmed by your neighbor raising peanuts? This is now a matter of looking at what is becoming endangered in our generation.

Child Friendly Dinner

This afternoon we were able to swing by Fredericksburg Pub (behind the mall) with our one year old. Here is a facility that isn't exactly child friendly, but it isn't in their business plan either. They did however have steamed veggies, which worked well with a few bits and pieces from our main entrees.

Compare this to our experience last weekend at Glory Days ( Here is an enterprise that understands that they will garner a larger portion of the dining crowd by subtlety offering a great children's option. Not only to they offer a child's menu, they have two different sizes available. Our one year old was able to finish the small portion, and we didn't feel like we paid for a meal fit for a 10 yr old. We say, enjoying a college game on one of the many tvs, while our child was well fed (with healthy alternatives), and we all went home happy.

If you get the opportunity, I strongly suggest you visit Glory Days in Massaponax (Cosner Corner).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where are the bike racks?

This picture was taken at Oktoberfest last weekend. An impromptu bike rack. As I walked down the hill to the event I passed a number of residents and students with their bicycles. We've heard George Solley and Brad Ellis on city council talk about the need for a more bicycle friendly city. Where have those promises gone? Has the economy made us decide between fancy street signs vs. bike racks? Or how about demolition costs of Wings? Would it kill the city to install a few places to lock up safely? And if it really is too much for the city, how about downtown merchants stepping up to the plate?

Old Towne Butcher ready for customers

Had the chance to get by our new butcher today. Olde Towne Butcher is located on William Street next to University Cafe and across from Kybecca. Tonight there will be two beautiful rib-eye's sitting on the grill getting the heat treatment. I like a place where you get to pick and choose the best cuts available. I was eyeing a couple of Delmonicos, but went with a little less fatty steak. While I was there waiting, several people stopped in and just looked around. Mr. Russell was working hard in the back, slicing garlic for their sausage specialty.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

DRMI & Fredericksburg need to close Caroline St.

You've heard the speculation, the predictions, some have said it would fail. Well, anyone who was downtown today saw that yet again, closing Caroline St brings many times the number of people. Imagine if every weekend there were outdoor dining, places to walk, events or music. For years I've heard residents and business owners complain about the city needing to get more people downtown. Well, I was there, and Oktoberfest was able to pack the block. Under Caroline St are original cobblestones. From what I've heard from witnesses, is that they go well with the granite slabs lining the road on select blocks.
So to all the naysayers, every time the city has chosen to close Caroline St. on Saturdays, the reaction has been overwhelming. It's time to get with it and proactively go after the Saturday foot traffic.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Foti's Scores Again

The Chef at Foti's in Culpeper deserves a ton of praise for the Shaps Wine Dinner the other weekend. Our group couldn't even pick out which of the items we liked the most, and of course the selection of wine was impeccable.

Stories From Other Blogs