Smoking the bees
Mom and Dad had honey bees when I was young. For the most part, the bees took care of themselves and their honey. When intervention was needed, it was always fascinating to me. I remember being curious about tools and techniques, well moderated with the desire not to get stung. Extracting the honey was a great project!
Inspecting a frame of honeycomb
Removing a full frame
Once the honey was moved indoors, going in and out of the house was a cautious undertaking. The less docile bees where flying up against the screen door, trying to protect their stockpile.
I must have gotten a stern directive not to get honey spread around the house. I remember being told how difficult it was to clean up honey.
Removing the wax caps from the honeycomb
Loading a frame into the extractor
Extracting the honey
Everyone gets a chance to extract the honey
Filling jars from the bottom of the extractor
The good stuff
At some point I got honey into my bangs. I clearly remember that I was aware that this wasn’t a desired outcome and that honey was very, very difficult to clean up. Even parents had a hard time cleaning it up. The best thing I could do was to take care of it myself. Water certainly wouldn’t remove it, because if it did, honey would be easy to clean up. I took the next best method and cut the honey out of my hair before it became a bigger mess.
I discovered a swarm of bees in a tree west of the house by their buzzing. I don’t remember very clearly, but I think the bees weren’t our own. I do remember being very proud that I could do something productive…I was the one to find the bees!
Swarm of bees
Filling the hive
A tower of bees
All of the photos above are from Mom’s album, labeled March – August 1979. The photos were taken by Mom, Dad, or Eddie. The color photos are dated July 7, 1979.
The photo below is from Mom’s album, labeled Fall – Winter 1979. Someone has short bangs!
Can you guess who is in seventh grade, second grade, and four years old?
Bee keeping seems like a great idea, especially when I read a good book about bees or beekeeping such as A Book of Bees or The Secret Life of Bees. Then I remember all of the half-started projects around and get more realistic about a project that involves live insects. (I’m being optimistic, the projects are only 23% started.)
p.s. Thanks Jessie, for the book recomendation that hopefully has lots of good bees in it!