A few years ago, the little boy found himself in the middle of an angry hive of stinging, flying somethings. They were in his shorts and up his shirt, he got it pretty good. The following summer he stayed in the house every time we checked bees.
Fast forward to this summer, curiosity got the best of him. One night I went to check the bees and he asked to come with. “Next time. You need pants and boots and long sleeves.”
We weren’t even finished with supper the following night and he has excused himself from the table and came back dressed to check the bees. Together we built a fire in the smoker. He “suited” up in Mike’s beekeeping hat and gloves and grabbed the hive tool. We hopped on the four-wheeler and headed out for his first hive check.
I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that honey has so many uses beyond putting a little in your tea.
After extracting forty pounds of honey during the first harvest this year we were asked by many what we were going to do with all that honey?! Well to be honest we go through that in a year relatively easily just in our daily meals. In place of syrup on pancakes, all sorts of baking, peanut butter honey sandwiches are a favorite among the kids, to sweeten oatmeal and tea and so on. Of course we also set some aside for selling and gifts beyond what I squirrel away for our home stock.
If you are looking for more uses than the common kitchen ones these are some that work well and not so “out of the box” crazy. You know, ones that you can tell your co-workers without them thinking you’ve lost it. Placing a garlic clove up your nose to cure a sinus infection or in your ear to ease an ear infection or this is a good one, white onion slices on the bottoms of your feet in your socks over night to cure an upper respiratory cold. They may work, but not at work.
Here’s a short list of what you can do with honey:
We started the 2017 honey harvest this weekend. I was really hoping to have more to write about with the bees over the summer. I probably would have if we were a little more hands on with our beekeeping. We weren’t. We checked the hive about every other week and from talking with others, they were checking theirs if not daily at least weekly. I could make excuses like we work in town full time, have young children, farm animals, a garden, grain fields, hay fields and the farmers market. Yes, we are busy but it really doesn’t take that much more time to light a fire in the smoker and take a walk across the field.
Most trips to the hive when the kids were awake were uneventful. They would all line up on the edge of the field and watch from a distance. There was one hive check after it had rained that we came back to the kids playing in mud puddles, one dressed, one in their underwear and one… well she’s our free spirit but she was wearing a flour sack dish towel for a cape. All were a happy, muddy mess and the bees had survived the storm. Little happenings like this are probably the best reason we didn’t make it out weekly.