Long ago back in my younger farm days, my brothers put me in charge of the bees. We had a little house where we kept the hives and all the tools. I’d put on my bee suit, get the little “smoker,” and go check on the bees in their hives out in the orchards. I somehow managed to do this task for quite a while and yet was only stung a few times. I consider that a major life achievement.
You haven’t lived until you’ve taken the top off a bee hive, gently smoked the bees to calm them down, and brought out the little trays teeming with busy bees among the combs dripping with sweet honey. Ah, nectar of the gods. Those bees really have it together, each with their own little job to do. My Grandma Stella (my dad Walter Johnson’s mom) was a beekeeper, too, so I guess it’s in my DNA.
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I just saw a little meme on Facebook with a quote from Mary Kay Ash: “Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that, so it goes on flying anyway.” Sweet food for thought.
These days, my farmer brothers (Dean Johnson and Ward Johnson) have bees brought into the orchards, so there are no more “in-house” bees. The hives from Sleeping Bear Farms showed up sometime in the past week, so I wandered out today to grab a few photos.
Here’s a neat video from Sleeping Bear Farms about the bees.