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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Bee Man at Work

While we were at Grimmwood we harvested 10 frames of lovely honey from our bees. ( All our bees are PHDs like Marvin...but they are Pure Honey Divas where he is just a Physicist.)  This time last year we were very discouraged with our bee journey. As Marvin put it his first batch of bees must have been patriot bees because they declared their independence and swarmed on July 4th.  They were so high up in a tree that we had no way of getting them down. I did read if that should happen again to shoot a gun and they will fall to the ground. That sounds pretty optimistic to me but we would have tried anything!

After the swarm, we decided we were still learning about bee keeping and we would nurse the remaining bees through the winter and add an additional hive in the spring. Which is just what we did and this year we had HONEY!


Here is Marvin lighting up the smoker before getting into the hives.


Here is Marvin, smoking the bees to calm them. But let me tell you as he put the smoke in the hive, out came a lot of bees on the run. I stood calmly in place and none of them bothered me. ( Thank Goodness). We purchased the little portable wagon for the beach but we did not really use it so Marvin made it the Bee Mobile. He carries all his supplies in it as he works his hives.


Out comes a frame filled with honey. We put them in the big plastic tub with the lid. We brought it back to Decatur to process.



Bees were working .....it is amazing to watch them. They each have a job and they are diligent workers.

Marvin showed his harvest to Bruce who estimated we had about 50 lbs of honey. I know it took me and Marvin to bring it into the house here in Decatur. We put the tub in the car overnight so no naughty bear could come and get it.  We went to Target for jars. I am hoping I purchased enough.

The moral of this bee story is to be patient and try try again. Marvin is the Bee Man, I am just his lovely assistant. He has done such a good job with his girls and he has learned a lot this year. One thing he has learned is that every Bee Man has an opinion! There are no easy answers in Been Keeping and as with most things in life it is a matter of trial and error, picking yourself up after a set back and preserving!

14 comments:

Sandy said...

I think it is a noble effort and you are so right about all the different opinions. I have found anything do to with farm life to be very hard and it makes me appreciate my relatives and upbringing even more!!!
You will be rolling in honey for awhile and I most assuredly think sticky stuff for weeks as you put it in those jars.

Robin in Virginia said...

Arlene, thank you for sharing this bee journey of Marvin's. I am glad that you didn't have any bears trying to get at the honey as they are persistent creatures.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That's such a good harvest! We had bees years ago and it was amazing to work with them. My oldest son was a natural. So nice to have all the yummy raw honey too! You'll both be SO sweet! heehee!

LaNelle said...

Love your Bee 🐝 journey and what a wonderful hobby...enjoy the journey many blessings...

Mary said...

I really enjoying reading about your adventure in beekeeping. Now, I need to know if the honey is pure to jar or do you have to process it in anyway. I"m very impressed that you got 50 lbs of honey!! It will be interesting to compare the flavor of your honey to other honey also. I'm glad the lovely assistant kept her cool when the bees started to swarm out of the hive!!

Visits With Mary said...

I really enjoyed your post today, very interesting. I hope you will let us know how good the honey is!!

Terri D said...

50 pounds of honey... you just did your Christmas shopping!! Who wouldn't like to receive a jar of fresh honey?! Awesome!

Ann said...

I can really appreciate this post as this is my first year beekeeping and my bees declared their independence as well...albeit a day late; on the 5th of July. This first year has been a struggle, but I'm trying to stay optimistic and am really hoping for a honey harvest next year!

Meg said...

Yay, Arlene! I'm so happy for you and Marvin! Sweet! (Literally...)

So I have this honey thing figured out. My husband's family has a 1,000-acre cattle ranch in Central Idaho with lots of alfalfa fields. A honey producer from a nearby town has made them an offer - if they are allowed to keep a bunch of their hives out in the alfalfa fields, we all get free honey. Tell me that's not a win-win deal!

So in my pantry I have several half-gallon jugs of honey, five tubs of creamed honey, and several honey-bear bottles full, all from the ranch. If you have recipes or tips for changing out sugar for honey in your baking, please send them my way! I made my regular banana bread recipe but used honey instead of sugar and it was delicious.

Every couple of months Shawn comes home from the ranch with MORE honey. We are blessed in a chaotic way!

I've been told that if you suffer from allergies, eating local honey helps. Since the bees get the pollen from local plants, there's something about eating that honey that gives your body enough of the pollen that it (supposedly) does not react as badly. Don't know if it's true, but it makes sense.

RJ said...

Way to go Marvin and his lovely sidekick. Wow 50 pounds...that is alot of honey. I bet it will taste delicious. Will you be giving out honey this year for gifts with an adorable little bee stitch on top? RJ

Mari said...

I'm so happy for you and Marvin that this year went so well. 50 pounds is a lot! My Grandpa used to have bees and always kept us supplied!

Linda said...

I love this post and have been following you on Facebook! We will be heading down to the ranch at the end of next week and I am assuming harvest time is in our future. I missed the part of installing the new hives so I do NOT want to miss this!

Terri said...

Wow, 50 pounds! Congrats! My grandfather was a beekeeper and he and grandma were both on the board of the local beekeeper's association. We always had fresh honey! Loved it on whole wheat bread with real butter and honey, and always had honey in homemade yogurt! Yum!! I buy and use honey as frequently as possible!

Carol said...

I've always found beekeeping to be so fascinating! And it looks like you and Marvin are pros--that is a wonderful honey harvest! Enjoy!