“Yaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! There’s a bee!”
About the same time, I (DM) felt a bee coming in for the kill on my head. Time to skedaddle to the house.
Off in the distance, my daughter and law and grandson were having their own encounter with some pissed off bees.
“There’s one on my finger!”
He stung me!
(More wailing) Grandson is 6, turned out he had been eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich.)
(We’d just stopped extracting honey, 15 minutes before…)
My younger sister wanted me to give her a quick tour of the apiary (honey bee set up) so I’d given her, my bee suit. We got within 20 feet of the hive and I gave her some simple instructions, on just how to open the lid and peek inside where I’d installed a feeder. What I hadn’t counted on , was the bees (as a whole) were agitated. Where normally, I can get within 10 feet of the hives without a suit, if I stay off to the side, At this point, even 50 feet away w/ a peanut butter and honey sandwich was too close. In all fairness to me, I had no idea he had that sandwich.
I need to back up….
My day had started at 4 AM. I’d invited 2 grand kids to help me extract honey. I’d pulled all of the honey supers off the hive earlier in the week, so as not to deal with bees. Had the set up on our front porch/ well away from the hives… Everything (the uncapping, the new extractor, the filtering ) worked flawlessly for the first couple of hours, then gradually, a couple of honey bees showed up.
Their numbers increased exponentially..
Within 10 minutes, 2 had become several dozen, then hundred/ so we stopped.
Few minutes later there were thousands of honey bees flying/ crawling, and foraging on everything.
It was really quite fascinating.
There’s a reason bee keepers have a designated room to extract honey with a door on it. I won’t be extracting on the front porch ever again. 🙂
It was almost dark last night before it was doable to finish draining the extractor into the filters. By then, most of the bees had returned to the hives.
I asked my 6 year old grandson a few minutes later after we’d iced his finger, if he was still interested in helping me with the honey bees some other time. He smiled a shy smile and nodded his head yes. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he didn’t.
As my sister was getting ready to leave yesterday, she said, “What an awesome morning. What a great experience for your grand kids!”
The sound of laughter was still playing in my head as I went to bed last night.
Update the next day…
Ended up with exactly 80 pounds of apple/ wildflower honey, raw, unpasteurized , and straight from the beehive: