Pear Tree Pollination Guide – Learn About Pear Trees And Pollination
The following information is based on scientific research, which was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other government agencies. The information contained herein may not be 100% accurate or up to date. If you have any questions regarding this information please contact your local USDA Agricultural Research Service office or call 1-800-823-9992.
Pollination Chart For Ure Pear Trees
In the early springtime, when the days are short and cool temperatures prevail, it is very easy for a pear tree to produce fruit. However, if you want to ensure that your pear trees will continue producing fruit year round then you need to make sure they receive adequate sunlight during those warm months. During these cold winter months, a good way to get extra light into your trees is through the use of artificial lights.
Artificial lights are used to provide supplemental lighting during the day so that your trees don’t freeze while still allowing them to grow fruit.
There are several types of artificial lights available on the market today. Some of these include fluorescent tubes, incandescent bulbs, halogen lamps and even LED’s. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, but all of them do work in some capacity to increase the amount of light reaching your trees.
Though, not all trees can handle the extra amount of light that these lights provide. Certain types of pears, such as the 1812, cannot tolerate the extended periods of sunlight and will begin to produce unfruitful flowers. Other pear trees, such as the Magness, don’t require as much sunlight and can grow fruit even with the extended hours of sunlight.
It is also important to note that while most pear trees cannot handle extended sunlight periods, there are a few that can.
If you plan on using artificial lights to extend your pear trees’ growing season, then you must first know if your tree can tolerate the extra light. If it cannot, then you need to find a different pear tree that can. The last thing that you want to do is place unnecessary stress on your trees while they are trying to grow fruit.
Self-Pollinating And Cross Pollinating Pears
The types of pears that are self-pollinating are the Beurre d’Amanlis, the 1812, the Bartlett, the Magness, the Moonglow, and the Winter Nelis. Most varieties of pears can cross-pollinate with one another.
Cross-pollination can lead to a variety of different tastes in the fruit produced by two different types of pears. This can also lead to different colors of flowers and different shapes of leaves. If you would like more information on the cross-pollination process, then I would suggest that you contact your local Agricultural Research Station.
How To Know When To Harvest Pears
Some types of pears will allow you to pick them while they are still green. Other types must be allowed to ripen before they can be picked. To tell if your pears are ripe, simply pick one off of the tree and give it a try.
If you pick a pear off of the tree and it is paler than normal then you know that it isn’t ripe yet and needs a few more weeks to ripen. If the color of the pear is the same as normal then it is ripe. If it is much darker in color then it has over-ripened.
Keep in mind that if you are growing your own pears then they won’t taste as good if they are allowed to over-ripen. Over-ripened pears taste funny and become mushy and less nutritious. The best way to get ripe pears is to pick them before they are entirely ripe and then let them ripen inside your home, away from the sunlight.
This will prevent them from becoming over-ripe before you have a chance to eat them.
Once you pick your pears you can either allow them to ripen further or you can can them right away and add them to your food storage.
How To Plant Pears In Your Backyard
The first thing that you need to do is ask yourself if you have enough space to plant pears trees. These trees require a lot of space and will produce fruit for many years. If you wish to keep the trees small then you would trim them often.
If you want to keep them larger then you will have to prune them less often. The more that you prune the tree, the smaller it will stay.
The other thing that you need to ask yourself is what types of pears do you want to grow?
There are a wide variety of different types of pears available at most nurseries. The most common varieties are the Beurre d’Amanlis, the 1812, the Bartlett, the Magness, the Moonglow, and the Winter Nelis. Each of these has a unique taste and style.
To make things even more confusing there are some pears that have several different varieties. The Bartlett pear is a great example of this. It has several different varieties that include the Bartlett, the Starking, and the Red Bartlett.
Many of the different varieties of pears mature at different times so you may find that you have ripe pears at different times of the year if you plant several different varieties.
Also, keep in mind that some varieties are self-pollinating while others need a partner to produce fruit. Most will produce a large quantity of fruit every year while others will only yield small quantities.
Before you pick a spot to plant your pear trees, take the time to look at your yard and think about what you want. You can do this by drawing a picture or just jotting some notes on a pad of paper. Don’t forget to include things like “Mother wants the deck extended this year” or “Sister is getting married next year and we will need to build a nice sized area for the reception.” You and your family may decide that you do not have the time or money to plant a large orchard.
If this is the case then choose the few varieties that you really want to plant and don’t waste time or money on the rest.
The next thing that you need to do is to pick out the spot where you want to plant your pear trees. You want to plant them in an area that gets a lot of sunlight. Pears don’t do well in shaded areas.
You also need to make sure that there isn’t a lot of other trees in the area. You don’t want your pear trees to struggle for sunlight or nutrients.
While you are considering where to plant your pears, keep in mind the other things that you want to plant in your yard as well. For example, if you just planted a lot of shade trees then you don’t want to block their sunlight by planting your pear trees there. If you have a large vegetable garden already in place then you don’t want to plant your pear trees where they will be in the way when it comes time to harvest the vegetables.
You may want to ask your local nursery owner for advice on the best place to plant your pears. He or she will probably ask you a lot of questions about what you are doing and have recommendations on the best place to put them. Nursery owners really know their stuff so take advantage of their experience.
You can also look at your yard and pick out a spot yourself. Just keep the sunlight and other things in mind while you pick out the spot. Don’t forget to allow room for the pear tree to grow.
Most pear trees require a minimum of 5 feet of space around them so they will have enough room to grow. You also want to make sure that there isn’t anything underground such as a electrical line that could cause trouble later on. If you aren’t sure about something then it is best to call your local power company and have them check to see if the spot you want to plant your tree over or under a power line.
When you have picked out the spot to plant your pear trees, it is time to dig the holes. When you do this make sure that they are at least 5 feet away from any other tree or structure and that they are 5 feet apart from each other. If you aren’t sure that you can space them that far apart then you can put a stake in the ground to mark where the hole goes.
You also need to make sure that the hole is at least as wide as the tree’s root ball and a foot deeper. If you can, turn the soil before you put the pear tree in so that the roots will have better anchorage. If your soil isn’t good, you may want to add some fertilizer or compost before putting in the tree. Always take care not to damage the roots when you put them into the hole.
After you have put in your pear trees, mulch around them to help conserve moisture. You will need to water them at least a couple of times a week the first summer. Don’t fertilize them until springtime of the second year.
After that, you can fertilize them in the early spring.
When picking out pear trees to plant in your yard, make sure you pick disease resistant ones. There are many different types of pears and some are more resistant to disease than others. You don’t want to plant a type that is going to get sickly if you can help it.
If you already have pear trees in your yard then you need to determine if they are healthy or not. Healthy trees will have a good amount of leaves, not appear to be stressed out and not have many dead branches. If you aren’t sure about yours, you can take a sample of the leaves to your local nursery for them to look at. They may be able to tell you if they are diseased or not just by looking at the sample you gave them.
There is one disease that plagues pears called fire blight. It makes the branches of the tree feel very brittle and the bottom of them will appear to be covered in a brown goo. Leaves will also turn brown and fall off.
For this reason, it is important to keep your trees pruned so there aren’t any open wounds for the disease to enter. If your tree does get fire blight, you can try to treat it yourself with antibiotics or you can take it to your local nursery for treatment.
If you don’t want to get the trees from a nursery, you can pick your own from a local park or wild area. Just make sure that you recognize the fruit before you pick it and that the tree looks like it is in good health. You don’t want to take a chance on taking home an infected piece of fruit or plant.
You will also need to quarantine the plant for a year to make sure that it isn’t carrying any diseases.
When you find good pear trees you want to plant, you are going to have to start thinking about how many you want to plant. You can’t just go out and buy more whenever you want because they take several years to grow. The bare minimum amount is two but if you wanted to, you could easily have a hundred or more on your property.
If you plan to sell produce, then you will want to plant more so you can keep up with the demand.
After you have your pear trees in the ground and they start growing, you will have to care for them like you would any other plant. You still need to water them and keep the soil around their roots loose so they don’t get suffocated. You may also need to mulch their base every couple of years or so.
Now that you have your trees planted and growing, you will need to decide how you are going to market your pears. You can either sell them at a farmers market or you can sell them at a roadside stand. If you choose to sell them at a farmers market, you can get a booth and sell them to anyone that passes by.
They may be expensive to set up but people will most likely be coming to buy from you because they know that you grow organic crops. If you want to sell them at a roadside stand, you will save money because you won’t have to hire anyone to run your booth for you. You will probably sell more pears but they may not sell as fast because people on the road may not be looking for produce as much as people going to and from a farmers market. You will also need to get a license to sell food from your property.
Pears can be profitable but you need to take care of them so they stay good for as long as possible. If you choose not to take care of them, they won’t taste good and nobody will want to buy them. Everything starts to taste bad if it isn’t taken care of properly.
Pears aren’t the only fruit you can grow. There are others that you can try. Here is a list of a few that you might want to consider.
Apples – Everyone loves apples and they can be eaten in so many different ways. You can eat the flesh, the skin and even the core. They keep for a long time and children love to snack on them.
They also make great juices and cider.
Apricots – These are great additions to fruit salad or you can just eat them by themselves. People usually snack on them when they are in the mood for something sweet but don’t want to ruin their dinner.
Cherries – Everyone loves cherries. They make great desserts and people usually love the juice as well. You can also use cherries in pies, salads and more.
Peaches – There are so many things that you can do with peaches. You can eat them fresh, make juice, bake desserts, and even make preserves with them. They are great for summer treats.
Plums – Everyone loves plums since they are great for snacking. You can also cook with these as well. One favorite is to simmer them in a pot to make a type of dessert soup.
Strawberries – These are often loved by children but everyone enjoys snacking on them. They can also be put into salads or made into a shake.
These are just a few of the many different types of fruits that you can choose from. If you want to know more, there are guides online that can give you more detailed information on all types of fruits and vegetables that you can grow. You will have to do a lot of research before choosing what you think would sell the best in your area.
You may want to visit a local nursery to see what is available as far as seeds. You can also shop online but you will have to be careful since you won’t be able to inspect the product before you buy it. If you need any equipment, such as pots, soil, or cages, you will have to purchase those as well.
Once you have all of your supplies, you can get started on building your farm. It is important that you keep everything as clean as possible since you are growing food. You wouldn’t want to sell something to a customer that was infected with a disease or parasite.
While your farm can make you some good money, it does take a lot of effort and time so it isn’t a good idea for everyone. You would need a lot of free time to take care of the farm and the farm itself can be very expensive, depending upon the type of farm you want. It can also be a little dangerous if you are working with animals or operating big machinery.
It can also be seasonal, depending upon what you decide to farm. For example, a strawberry farm won’t have anything to sell during the winter months unless you installed some type of green house.
However, if you really like farming and have the time to devote to it, it could be a good way to make some money. It just isn’t for everyone.
A lot of people don’t think about ranchers as farm animals but they are. Ranchers take care of cattle, sheep, and other farm animals. Some ranchers even take care of more exotic animals such as elephants or zebras.
If you choose to become a rancher, you will be feeding the animals, making sure they have enough water, treating any illnesses they may have, and finding new places for them to graze. Since you will be dealing with a lot of animals, you may also have to treat them harshly from time to time in order to keep them from getting sick of afraid of you and this could lead to you becoming mean spirited.
As with most farms, your main source of income will come from selling the animals that you raise for meat once they are mature enough to be slaughtered. In order to make the most profit you will have to buy some land, build a fence to keep your animals inside, and build a house so you have a place to live since you will be living on your farm full time.
Some ranchers will also participate in rodeos or hire themselves out as hands on other people’s ranches during busy seasons.
If you love animals and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, then this could be the job for you.
You’ve decided to become a scribe.
As a scribe, you will write books, poems, songs, and other works of literature. While there are a lot of wealthy people who pay good money for written works, it is generally an low paying job and you will have to purchase your own supplies if you want to be a serious writer.
In order to be a scribe, you need to have excellent language skills as well as a good imagination. You also need to have patience since creating a work of writing is very time consuming.
Most scribes are able to get work as a writer for news papers, comic books, or other publications that can’t afford to employ a professional writer. If you’re really good, you might get work as a writer for the local newspaper in which your stories will be read by thousands of people. Other than that, most scribes just work on their own works since it is difficult to get published.
If you want to become a poet or song writer, you should try to learn how to play a musical instrument as well. Poets generally read their poems, but if you can sing or play an instrument it will help your poem be enjoyed by a wider audience.
Most poets and writers don’t make that much money since most people can’t afford to buy what they’re selling. If you want to make money as a writer, you’ll probably have to also become a scribe and write news stories or work for a newspaper.
As with farming, if you want to write seriously, you should go out and experience new things and new places. Writing about something that you know first hand is much more enjoyable for the reader than just reading some stuff you made up.
You’ve decided to become a thief.
As a thief, you will need to learn how to pick pockets, disable traps, open locks, and steal anything not bolted down. Since security is always getting better and better, the older methods of cracking a safe or busting open a lock are becoming less and less useful. As such, many thieves have turned their talents to more lucrative fields such as burglary and robbery.
Some thieves are even skilled enough to be hired as assassins since they can sneak in or out of just about anywhere without being detected. However, most towns don’t have that many skilled thieves and those that do may not want to risk their lives by hiring one since a failed assassination often leads to the death of the assassin.
You don’t have to be completely ruthless like a common assassin to make a living as a thief though. If you wish, you can limit yourself to only stealing from other criminals and the corrupt. If you can get away with it, some thieves just prefer stealing from shops.
While this is obviously far less dangerous, shop owners tend to hire more skilled mercenaries to hunt you down if you are stealing from them on a regular basis.
Regardless of what you decide to steal, remember that the longer you’ve been stealing from a particular location or person, the more likely you are to get caught. So if you decide to steal apples from one of the few apple sellers in town, don’t also steal his money. Stick to just taking apples, or money.
You’ve decided to become an assassin.
As an assassin, you will spend your life in the shadows. Most people will probably feel afraid of you, but most people don’t have the heart to go through with the ruthless killing that an assassin does. Assassination is a very lucrative business, so it’s probably very competitive as well.
Most of the time, you’ll be hired by some form of government. Kings and Queens mostly, but sometimes mayors of large towns or cities. Sometimes you’ll be hired by a wealthy merchant or businessman.
Occasionally, you’ll even be hired by a guild to kill a rival guild member.
It’s the last one you have to watch out for, since that’s where the term “gun for hire” comes from. Sometimes the person you’re hired to kill is more alert than the client has let on and tries to kill you instead!
As with the thief, you can limit yourself to killing the “bad” people and stay out of trouble that way. It’s really up to you how you want to play this.
You’ve decided to become a blacksmith.
Blacksmiths are an important part of any city because almost everybody has to have tools to do their jobs. If it weren’t for blacksmiths, cities would suffer massive productivity losses.
Since you need to make tools for almost every job, blacksmiths tend to be some of the busiest people in town. The only ones that might rival them are doctors and general merchants.
You will probably be working long hours, but as a blacksmith you’ll have almost no competition since not that many people take up the art for themselves. You’ll want to stay reasonably close to your forge so you can quickly grab your tools and get to work. Since you’ll need a lot of coal for your forge, you’ll have to pay a visit to the local coal miner.
If you decide to live some place else far from your forge and coal miner, it will increase the amount of time it takes you to get to and from work, meaning you may not be as productive.
You’ve decided to become a doctor.
As a doctor, you’ll be tasked with keeping the people of your town or city healthy. This, of course, is no easy feat. Most diseases and illnesses in this world are deadly, so it’ll be up to you to make sure the people are healthy.
Most doctors tend to have a general idea of what they’re doing, but as with most things, some are more skilled than others. There’s a lot to learn being a doctor since you need to be knowledgeable about treatments for a wide variety of conditions and injuries. Some doctors even dedicate their lives to operating and treating a specific part of the body, such as the heart or the brain.
As a doctor, you’ll probably be upper middle class at best, since despite being necessary, not everyone can afford your services. You’ll get some patients that can’t afford to pay your fee upfront, so you’ll have to depend on the kindness of your neighbors for those.
You’ve decided to become a teacher.
As a teacher, your job will be to educate the children in reading, writing, arithmetic, and a general world knowledge. Most teachers tend to specialize in teaching a specific subject area, such as history or math.
Children can at times be both the greatest joy and frustration of any teacher’s day. You have to be firm yet fair with them, though it only takes one student to really connect with you for you to enjoy your job. The town or city you work in may or may not provide you with a classroom, so it would be best to live close enough to one that walking or riding a carriage isn’t too much of a hassle.
Teachers are usually respected members of the community and tend to earn a fair wage for their work.
You’ve decided to become a priest.
As a priest, your job is to look after the spiritual needs of the people in your town or city. This can range from performing marriages and funeral ceremonies to blessing the harvest before it’s sent to market.
Priests tend to be taken quite seriously by most people and their opinions hold a good deal of weight in the community, so it’s important for a priest to always speak wisely when giving a sermon. Some priests choose to take on the role of a missionary and travel to far off places to try and bring faith to new communities.
Priests aren’t really as concerned with wealth as much as they are with faith, but this doesn’t mean they suffer any less than anyone else. Being a priest is dangerous since it only takes one corrupted soul to decide your death is more important than your faith.
A priest can potentially have a large number of people belonging to their faith, but since many tend to travel and spread out in an attempt to bring faith to the unbelievers, they don’t often find themselves in the position of leading very many people.
You’ve decided to join the military.
As a soldier in the local army, your job is to protect the community from any external threats. This can range from keeping trade routes safe from bandits to fully engaging in wars with other nations.
Being a soldier means you’re obligated to obey the commands of your superiors, whether that means patrolling the borders or going to war. It also means you’re going to have to live in a barracks and not have a lot of control over your day-to-day life.
Most officers are recruited from the upper class, as having some wealth allows for greater military training. The average soldier is usually a peasant boy with little future prospects. Becoming a soldier is seen as both a noble and profitable endeavor to these peasant boys.
If you were to enlist, it would be best for you to keep your head down and not make waves. The military is a government organization, which means it’s run by humans. This means it suffers from the same flaws of any government run organization.
There’s always the potential for corruption both within the chain of command and without.
Being a soldier isn’t an easy life, but it’s one that allows for some measure of adventure and excitement.
You’ve decided to become a mercenary.
As a mercenary, you’ll be paid to fight for any side in a war. This means you can explore more options since you won’t be exclusively tied to one nation or community. Mercenaries are commonly used as soldiers for hire by small nations that can’t afford to maintain a standing army.
Mercenaries can become quite famous or powerful depending on their skills and some even carve out their own little domains where they act as dictators.
Mercenary work is usually not considered as honorable as soldiering for a nation though.
Most mercenaries don’t last very long, as it’s a brutal line of work. Only the strongest survive.
You’ve decided to become a bandit.
As a bandit, you’ll be raiding travelers and caravans in order to get what you want. While it may seem like an easy choice, as there’s no troop commanders ordering you around and no saluting, it’s highly unpredictable and not as glamorous as it may seem.
If you do happen to get caught, which is likely, since most bandits are captured or killed within a year of starting out, then you’ll be hanged for your crimes.
Raising a company of bandits is particularly difficult since you’d have to be able to convince at least thirty people to join you. This means you’re going to have to be a very charismatic person or offer something worthwhile to these people.
Most bandits are caught due to carelessness or greed, neither of which you desire. So it’s up to you whether your commitment to this path is strong enough to weather the inevitable hardships.
You’ve decided to become a mercenary captain.
As a mercenary captain, you’ll be in charge of hiring companies of mercenaries and taking out any contracts that are available. This puts you in a very powerful position, as your word goes a long way.
Being in charge also means that you’re more susceptible to the dangers of this chaotic lifestyle. If you’re not careful or your instincts aren’t good, you could end up dead before your time.
Being a mercenary captain is probably one of the most lucrative positions one can have within this trade. Some have even managed to retire after decades of loyal service.
You’ve decided to become a bandit leader.
As a bandit leader, you’ll be in charge of a group of bandits who will roam the countryside looking for weak targets to raid and rob.
Being a bandit leader is probably the most dangerous job. Not only are you always at risk of being robbed by your own men, but you’re also under constant threat of being captured or killed by authorities.
Still, there is a certain amount of charm to such a free existence that appeals to some.
As a bandit leader, you’ll need to carefully recruit bandits while maintaining a low profile. You won’t have to worry about legal issues, but you’ll still have to worry about internal treachery from your underlings, which is a very real possibility.
You’ve decided that you’ll be a freelance mercenary, not permanently attached to any one group.
Being a mercenary isn’t an easy life, but it does have its benefits. Since you’re not committed to any one group, you have the most freedom out of any of the choices you could make.
Some find the lack of stability and permanence off-putting, but for the more adventurous type it can be quite the thrill.
You will need to decide which countries you wish to offer your services to as well as keep up on which armies are currently in need of additional troops due to shifting alliances or battles.
You’ll also need to be aware of any bounties that your actions may have incurred, as evading or fighting off any mercenaries or heroes hired to take you out might become necessary from time to time.
Mercenaries can sometimes get caught up in the moment and take unnecessary risks in battle in the hopes of gaining more glory. You’ll need to keep a cool head and not fall prey to such temptations.
As a mercenary, there are also less regulations and restrictions on what you can do. Some mercenaries have been known to engage in stealing or looting from the homes of their enemies after a battle.
Whatever you decide to do, you realize that it’s going to take a lot of effort in order for you to make your choice work. However, you have a feeling that a challenge is what you want.
You also realize you’ll probably be fighting a lot more superheroes in the future. While this is intimidating to most, you’re actually looking forward to it. After all, superheroes are just humans.
If you studied your enemy and prepared accordingly, there’s no reason you can’t best them as well.
In fact, just thinking about it makes you smile.
“I think I want to be a mercenary,” you state.
“Hm. Well, it takes a certain kind of person to make such a life worthwhile.
Think you got what it takes?”
“Oh I definitely do.”
He nods at your confidence. “Good. Unfortunately, we’re not hiring right now, but if you come back in, say, six months, I’m sure we’ll be able to find a spot for someone like you.”
“Great. I’ll be back then.”
Mr. Reynolds takes your hand and shakes it. “Well it was nice meeting you, uh…”
“Right, Kyle. Good to meet you, and best of luck on your mercenary career.”
You walk out of Mr. Reynolds’ office and head home in a hurry to tell your parents the news. Even they seem more accepting of your fateful decision now.
Though your mother does shed a few tears and your father gives you a big hug, which makes you a bit embarrassed.
Over the next six months, you do a lot of research on various mercenary groups, their reputation, success rate and leadership. There are a lot of different groups to choose from, but most of them have some sort of negative aspect that you can’t look past (or at least you convince yourself they’re a bad idea).
Two groups in particular stand out among the rest, the Crimson Talons and the Black Hooks. The Crimson Talons are a well organized group that controls most of the cities criminal activity along with running a brothel or two. From what you’ve heard they treat their women fairly well and most of the members are calm and coolheaded, thinking things through rather than rushing in.
The Black Hooks are a bit more unorganized, but much more wild and ruthless. They make most of their money through raiding coastal villages and taking what they want. Sometimes they hire themselves out as mercenaries, but other times they just outright plunder, though it’s a bit rare for them to do it on land.
They aren’t too picky on who they associate with either, as they have ties to various pirate groups as well as the odd barbarians tribe along the Great Sea.
You’re still not sure about your final choice…
One day, you read an announcement in the paper that Mr. Reynolds has committed suicide. You vaguely wonder if it really was an accident, but you decide it doesn’t matter all that much.
After all, you’ve decided on a life of crime and punishment isn’t supposed to be something that stops you from doing what you want.
You finally choose the Black Hooks.
The day you leave your home, you pack some warm clothes, some food and water, your coin purse and knife for protection. Your parents give you their blessings and hug you before you head out the door. As much as you’re looking forward to this, a small part of you is a bit sad that you won’t be seeing them for a long time (assuming you live a nice long life away from violence).
You make your way to the city and eventually find the Black Hooks’ headquarters, which is a small rundown tavern called the Sparkling Mug. Not exactly the most creative name, but then again it’s a bit below what you’d expect from a bunch of criminal thugs.
When you walk in, you see a large number of men with savage looking scars in a variety of outfits. A few of them are even completely naked, though you quickly realize that they just don’t wear clothes at all. One of them notices you right away and approaches.
He’s tall and skinny with a braided goatee and hair that sticks out in all directions.
“Yes,” you respond.
“The name’s Crummus. I run things around here. You’d better know how to fight, boy.
What skills do you have?”
“I’m good with a bow, I know how to use a sword and dagger, and I can fight in close quarters combat,” you say.
A bit of everything, huh?
You look like you could be either very good or very bad at this game.”
“I imagine I’ll learn quick enough.”
“Well, that’s true. Alright, you can sleep in the back. You’ll get a bed and a share of the profits…
which aren’t much, but still something I suppose. Saves me having to split it with Jicol’s criminal element. Come on, I’ll give you the tour.”
Crummius takes you on a quick tour which basically consists of all the buildings he says are owned and run by the Black Hooks. There’s the Sparkling Mug tavern, an old rundown place called the Rotten Bellevue hotel (which is actually a fancy place before the Black Hooks took it over), a jewelry shop, a couple of brothels and some others.
“This one’s ours too,” Crummus says as you approach a large warehouse. “We’re using it now to store our stolen goods until we can find a buyer. Not really an important place for you since all you need to do is sleep in the back, but I thought I’d show it to ya anyway.”
You enter the warehouse and see several tables with pirate types counting coins and goods. Several others are carrying boxes around, unloading a ship at the docks nearby no doubt. You notice one of them walking towards you and Crummus…
and he’s dressed in a fine suit, rather than the typical pirate garb.
Crummius, who’s this one? Why hasn’t he been given a job yet?”
the man in the suit asks.
“Nobody here but criminals, sir! We caught this one just now, said he wants to join,” Crummus answers.
“Excellent. New blood. I’m Runningfoot, head of the Black Hooks’ business division.
It’s a pleasure to meet you…?”
“Terrance,” you answer. You know better than to use your real name.
“Well Terrance, I certainly hope you know what you’re getting yourself into here. Stealing and piracy are serious business in these parts, especially for some scrawny kid like you. We have an excellent opportunity for you though, if you’ve got the skills.”
Runningfoot takes you over to one of the tables and shows you a large map. He begins pointing to various locations.
“Now, since the Jicol Port Authority is on to us as far as our illegal smuggling operations go, we’re going to have to get a little more creative with our methods. We’ve got people working on that problem, but in the meantime, I need some people to take care of business in other places. While most of my men are busy with other tasks, I can still use some of the folks in the academy to help me out.”
Runningfoot points to a location on the island of Delantium, far from Jicol.
“Now, I understand if you’ve never been to this place before, but I assure you it’s far enough away that you shouldn’t have many problems. I need you to take this package to a man named Sebastian. You’ll find him in a town called Ulig, which is in the far east of Delantium.
Don’t ask me what he’s doing there, and I don’t care. All I know is he’s some sort of royalty over there, so be respectful. Other than that, just hand him the package and whatever he tells you to do. You’ll be heading out as soon as he’s ready, so go get some rest. You’re dismissed.”
Runningfoot goes back to organizing his papers while you head out of the warehouse.
“I hope you know what you just signed up for,” Crummus says. “But if you don’t, it might be too late soon.”
With that, he takes his leave and heads off to whatever pirates do in their spare time. You head back to the warehouse to see Runningfoot, who has already prepared your assignment. He gives you a satchel with some clothes in it, along with a sealed letter.
“This is a very important delivery. I trust you’ll do us proud and make sure it gets there as quickly as possible. Your route should be mapped out for you and all you need to do is follow the instructions.
If you get into any trouble, show them this letter. That’s a royal pass for Delantium territory. Just don’t lose it.”
Taking the satchel, you sling it over your shoulder and head back home to pack for your trip.
Where are you going?”
your mom asks as you run into the house.
“I got a delivery job, ma!”
“Well, make sure you wear long pants this time,” she says.
Your mother has always been a bit overprotective, but apparently she’s heard about some of the criminal types in Jicol and isn’t comfortable with you going out dressed the way you usually do. You quickly change and head out the door.
The trip to Jicol is fairly quick. You take a carriage and then the pirate ship, the Black Hook, picks you up on the far side of a nearby island. There you meet most of the crew, all of whom are basically ruffians and vagabonds recruited in a similar manner as you.
Everyone is all talk at first, trying to come off as hardcore pirates who’ve been around the world and done all this stuff. In reality, it doesn’t take long before they start gambling, getting drunk and generally being idiots. You find a quiet place on the ship to sleep since you didn’t really feel like socializing with them.
About midway through the trip, you realize you’ve got more than just a delivery to Sebastian. You also have a letter from Runningfoot telling you about potential attacks on Jicol by the notorious pirate Graves. The Black Hook’s captain and several of the crew are all excited at the possibility of attack as they apparently owe Graves money and aren’t too fond of him anyway.
You consider tossing the letter overboard, but decide to be cautious. If there really is a potential attack, you want to be prepared. If nothing else, the knowledge might help you renegotiate wages when you get back.
Eventually you make it to Jicol without incident. You’re dropped off on a smaller island nearby, where you take a small rowboat to the city. You find yourself staring at the massive walled city before you.
It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. There’s so much going on, people everywhere and shops and buildings that you could wander around for days and not see everything.
You head towards the gates, where several soldiers immediately stop you.
Alright, where are you going?”
“I have a delivery for the Klyton College of Alchemy,” you say.
Yeah? Well you’re not bringing any explosives in here, understood?”
“No, this is…” you begin to say before you’re stopped.
“Hey! I know you! You’re that courier guy!
You raced against my cousin Lars back in Klyton a couple years ago!” the guard says looking at you more closely.
“Um… yeah…” you say, not really wanting to discuss this.
“Man, you made Lars look like an idiot! He cried for days after that one! Hey everyone!
We got a celebrity here! Used to race bikes with my cousin!”
Several of the other guards begin crowding around and start chatting with you, completely ignoring the fact that you just got off a pirate ship. Your delivery is quickly forgotten as you’re bombarded with questions and folk wanting to shake your hand. You don’t know how long you’ll be stuck here, but you at least hope it won’t be long.
You are. You spend the next several hours there before they finally get around to checking your package and letting you leave.
“Alright let’s see what we have here…” one of the head guards says as he takes the package from you.
He begins reading through the papers while the rest of his staff looks on. Whatever he sees has him agreeing a change in the guard schedule and getting everyone prepared. It’s all a little over your head, but it seems serious.
“Alright, you realize everything I was right and you lot were wrong.”
“Of course we do, but that doesn’t mean we still won’t be right next time.
You really think that guy’s going to try something now?
Things are too heaty for him.”
“I dunno. I’m putting in for extra pay if he does show up because of this.”
“You do that.
Hey, did you see that guy’s face when I mentioned Lars cried for days after he lost to him?
Man, I thought he was going to cry too! Ha ha! Hey you’re pretty good looking, I didn’t notice that before.
You got a boyfriend?
Wait, you’re a boy.
Sources & references used in this article:
Reproductive biology of tropical lowland rain forest trees. II. Pollination systems by KS Bawa, SH Bullock, DR Perry… – American journal of …, 1985 – Wiley Online Library
The appropriate management of honey bee colonies for pollination of Rosaceae fruit trees in warm climates by RA Stern, G Sapir, S Shafir, A Dag… – Middle Eastern and …, 2007 – academia.edu
The honey bee as an agent in the pollination of pears, apples and cranberries by R Hutson – Journal of Economic Entomology, 1925 – academic.oup.com