Sunday, August 15, 2010


If you've read some of my stuff and are wondering what's happening now, please check my new site:



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Please see for what I'm up to now.



Monday, November 13, 2006

That's not a Grasshopper.... THIS is a grasshopper!

This mofo' measured about 15cm from tip to tail...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I am a SuperHero
(The occasionally accurate tale of my involvement in the removal of a nuisance bee colony in downtown Stellenbosch)

Well. I've always harboured a mild suspicion that I was destined for greater things, always felt I had a little more in common with the Spider and Batmen of this world than with the David Schwimmers. And so when the call came in on the BeePhone that a swarm of killer bees was terrorising downtown Stellenbosch, I knew this was the time for my own special blend of heroics.
Strapping on my trusty BeeSmoker, my impervious HiveTool and my functional yet stylish BeeVeil I caught a not-so-brief glimpse of myself in the mirror, and in between thoughts of "You are really, really good looking", I met my own eyes and knew my day had come.

Striding down the hallways of B-HQ, I brushed the cleaning ladies aside with a mighty swoop of my gauntleted hand and jumped into the Honeymobile. I turned the key and flipped the booster switches, the crackling of Shakira claiming that her hips weren't lying reminding me gently that my requests for a Beemobile had been ignored, and that my grand entrance to battle would be in a beaten up old Isuzu. Pushing this mild mannered beast of a machine to the limits I raced out of my secret entrance with my foot to the floor, the quivering needle of the speedometer climbing unsteadily to max out at 60 kmh as the scenery blurred past my window.

The grim scene that awaited shook even this battle hardened beekeeper to the core. Clouds of fluid death were circling around the stately elms of Stellenbosch. Apparently the bees were expecting this challenge from their greatest foe, and they were not willing to lay down quietly and accept their fate. Sensibly, the Fire Brigade, the Army, the Police and their lower caste brethren the Traffic Control Officers were out in force, desperately attempting to hold back the tide of pain and anguish the poor German international students were no doubt suffering, hemmed into their apartments by an all-too-powerful foe.

The emergency services, seeing my approach, gladly parted like the Red Sea before Moses. I set my jaw and marched into battle, careful to hide any trace of doubt that the soldiers might pick up on - they were depending on me, and any doubt in their minds would surely cause them to throw up their hands and flee like so many ants before a magnifying glass in the sun. My resolve held and I came to within striking distance of my enemy.

The bees were clever. They had chosen their base in the boughs of the tallest elm in the street. A perfect position from which to assault passers-by and then safely retreat from any retaliatory manouvres. A fire truck with a 30m hydraulic cherry picker was parked at the base of the tree, though the firefighters, knowing they were no match for the bees, had taken refuge at the far end of the street. One brave soul from their number approached. The one that drew the short straw. I looked upon this man, knowing that he had joined the fire brigade with dreams of simply saving little old ladies from crumbling, burning, death-trap buildings, and felt a pang of pity that he was chosen to join me on this infinitely more dangerous undertaking. I considered letting him off and trying my hand at cherry-picker driving, but then, how could he have ever returned to his colleagues? He would live forever with the shame of desertion.

So in we both climbed, he guiding this crane like contraption ever higher, while I eyed my old foe, knowing that in this fight there could be only one victor. As we rose, so too did the bees rise to the challenge, pouring out by the thousand. The battle was joined. As the first wave of their attacks came, I saw with dismay that my driver was suffering, being not in possesion of my high-tech protective beegear. I had no choice. I ripped off my veil and pulled it down over his head and shoulders. He rammed his hands into his pockets and held tight. He would make it through, even should I fall. I turned back to the oncoming hordes, blasting them with cans of Mortein-laden death. As before, their tiny corpses fluttered to Earth, but I could not escape injury. As they sent their toxic needles into the flesh of my hands and face, only the knowledge that I was the only one that could stop them kept my constitution intact. I glanced down heroically, but from the dizzying heights I could no longer see the people below. There is no doubt in my mind though, that a throng of swooning young girls and aspiring young men were surely gazing up with held breath, silently cheering me on (for that can be the only reason I didn't hear them).

The sun lowered in the sky, staining the leaves blood-red. Finally the tide of bees slowed. One final approach with the cherry picker and I dealt the death blow. I turned to my driver and gave a triumphant thumbs up. I couldn't see his face through the bee suit, but no doubt admiration was written across it.

Touching down to the ground once more, I turned my back on the carnage and strode off into the sunset like Ryu after finishing StreetFighter II. The ceremony meant nothing to me...I lived only for battle.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And Again!

Arriving at work today I found Chris storming around uttering Afrikaans expeltives. On the desk sat two speeding fines from our trip with the killer bees. Another few thoudsand rand worth...

After lunch we got a call from the council about a bee colony causing kak in the middle of town and went to investigate. Parking the car in a no-standing spot we hopped out for two minutes, walked three paces to look at the bees, turned around and saw a cop writing out a ticket. Four tickets in as many days, and I've never received one in Australia.

Here's a photo from Special Tuesday...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


An icy cold mountain stream on a roasting hot day...

Another waterfall, this one even colder...

Freezing my ass. Or pretending to be the guy from the Nutri-Grain ads.

Call a damn lifeguard

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Robben Island Ferry

The infamous Robben Island. The place Mandela was held for 18 odd years. The cornerstone of white suppression.

Well, so I'm told. I just went there to chase bees around.

We arrived at 7am. Long before the fat tourists arrive to tut-tut at the atrocities of apartheid, but happily wear Polo shirts made in sweatshops in Laos by children being 'paid' 3 cents a day. Long before the hippies come to lend their support to the new Africa by pouring money into tourist sites, ignorant of the fact that they are owned and operated by wealthy white corporations. No, this early in the morning we were travelling today with those for whom Robben Island represents just another day at the office. For now an entire community has been built up around those rotund Americans with change to spare, and what was once a community of prisoners has become a community of freemen (well perhaps not yet financially free, but they at least have the choice to leave the island).
So I travelled with my trusty companion Chris "THIS IS KAK MAN" Fransman, wedged in amongst the other workmen racously playing dominoes on an ever swaying vessel. Today our mission was to teach the communities on the island how to manage the bees and sell the honey as yet another way to lighten the purses and wallets of their international visitors. Waiting for us at the port was a bakkie (a ute) that had seen many, many better days, the constant salt spray had not been kind to this old girl and the strain was starting to show. In the tray I jumped, with my two coloured companions in the front. Passing a workman, jokes were exchanged that this was an example of reverse-Apartheid.
Now Robben Island is not large, perhaps three kilometers diameter, and is not the sort of place you would expect much wildlife. How wrong you would be.
About five minutes into the trip we passed a colony of penguins

Bontebok (apparently delicious, but they were too quick for me)



and of course, the bees

We were going to show the community how to harvest honey, but no one showed up because they were scared of "those little chaps". That's Africa for you...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Little Tortoise and the Bees

While working with the bees I found these Leopard Tortoises living under the hives, where I guess they are eating the bees...

Jonkershoek National Park
A mountain area park with excellent waterfalls and plenty of herpetofauna (lizards you dumbass...)

The moutain stream

A frog in the stream

A little Gecko sort of thing

While photographing the previous lizard this guy ran down and started a threat display in front of me which involved running a short distance and then bobbibg his head up and down for a while, running some more and then bobbing...

After a bit of the threat dance he ran up an overhanging tree, looked down, and just kept bobbing

Jordan's Wines

The species I'm working on is called Apis mellifera, I'm doing the research in Stellenbosch, and my surname is Jordan. Coincidence? Or something more... sinister?