As you may recall, back in November I posted an entry about Mr. Carrier’s bees and how good his honey is. A few weeks ago as my thoughts began turning to Spring fruit tree blossoms (prematurely, as it turns out – have you seen the weather lately?! Woof – snow on most of the mountain tops around the valley.), it occurred to me that if we had bees maybe they’d help our (and neighbors w/in a 3 mile radius) flowers and fruit trees live an even better and more productive life.
So I called up Mike to talk through some of the details about bee keeping, like:
- How often do you slop them?
- How big does their water trough have to be?
- Do i have to change their “cage” like I do the cats um, errr, powder rooms?
- Do I need to use a special bee whistle to call them home every night?
(Remind me to tell you about using a scallop whistle down in Florida back in ’77… what a hoot.)
- Do I need to walk them and if so, how does the harness stay on?
You know, the basics.
As we’re talking, a tiny light bulb went off in my head (if you know me, you may already have a pre-conceived notion about how small the wattage on that bulb may be – if so, keep that thought to yourself because you’re going to want to be on my good side pretty soon if this bee-thing works out 😉 and it suddenly dawned on me that if we have bees, we might actually get honey from the little buggers.
So I mentioned my epiphany to Mike and he said (after he quit laughing at me), “uh yeah, Hal, with that one hive stack you should get somewhere between 10-12 gallons of honey.”
“gallons of honey”… doesn’t that just kinda drip off your tongue?
Sounds great, right? Last year, 45 cases of jams & jellies (+ gallons of liqueurs) and next year 10+ gallons of honey – man, it’s gonna be great, right?
Well, that’s easy for you to say… see, I’m the guy that’s gotta wear the distorted fencing mask, gloves and body image-enhancing suit designed to keep me safe from the sting of death.
30 years ago I was doing the dance of death with sea urchins to get abalone.
25 years ago I began diving for halibut.
22 years ago I added lobster diving to the list.
10 years ago we did our first harvest and began working our way into pretty serious jelly making hobbyist’s.
And now, bees will give us gallons of honey from our own property.
Getting older sure is sweet, isn’t it?
Thanks for visiting, write when you get work.