A honey of a haircut

Photograph of smoking the bees

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

Inspecting a frame of honeycomb

Photo of removing a full frame of honey from the bee box

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.

Photo of removing the wax caps from the honeycomb

Removing the wax caps from the honeycomb

Loading a frame into the extractor

Loading a frame into the extractor

Extracting the honey

Extracting the honey

Child labor

Everyone gets a chance to extract the honey

Filling jars

Filling jars from the bottom of the extractor

The good stuff

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

Swarm of bees

Filling the hive

Filling the hive

A tower of bees

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!

Kids in the fall

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!

8 thoughts on “A honey of a haircut

  1. Jenny says:

    Robbie says, “That’s awesome!”
    Charlie says, “I love you! That is cool!”
    I am impressed with your jar filling and problem solving.

    • Susie says:

      Do you think that I must have figured out that parents don’t know how to solve everything? No need to bother them with something they can’t help with!

  2. Helen says:

    Fun to see these photos again, and remember honey harvesting.

  3. Holly C. says:

    This is a fantastic story! I like the pictures and your recall. I think it should be seen in a magazine such as Reminisce, or Country Woman.

  4. Alice says:

    Great pictures … and stories. You three kids were so adorable – your short bangs and all.

  5. Jessie says:

    Fun pictures! Have you been giving Clara hair cut advice? Her bangs were in her eyes so she cut them herself. Down to a stubble right in the middle of her forehead, but she says they are better now….

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