This is my brother, Mike's recent favorite memory. He sent me these pictures which I really appreciated. They are pictures of him and my dad smoking out a beehive all decked out in their beekeeping gear. These pictures really brought back the memories for me of when I was a little girl and I had helped my dad with the beehives.
I remember wearing the white beekeeping suit that my mom had sewn for me and really hoping that I wouldn't get stung. Even though, I'd been stung before, I just didn't like it. I dreaded that possibility because even when you might expect a bee sting, for some reason, they still take you for surprise somehow. It hurts!
After the honey was harvested from the beehives, we'd come home and the real work would begin. I remember watching my dad as he handled each honeycomb carefully and sheared it just right with a heated knife to produce the honey dripping process. He'd then place them in a big silver barrel that had a handle on it that we would turn and turn and turn until our arms were weak and tired. All of the children took turns doing the turning, but I'm sure my dad still did a lot more of it. It took a lot of turning just to get one bucket of honey. I never could believe how slow the process really was. How much work and dedication it took. I admired my dad's stamina, not only to harvest the honey but to let all of his children help him do it.
My dad would put the honey into jars and honey bears that we would store or give away to people to enjoy.
I still remember when he would make wheat bread and let us put honey on it as it was warm and fresh from the oven. It was soooo good!
I also remember eating bits of the sheared honey comb and it tasted so incredible. We would chew and chew it up like gum in our mouths until it started to taste like wax. Then spit it out into the trash can.
My dad also made lots of candles with the leftover honeycomb. They really smelled good when he burnt them. He was always looking for uses for the honeycomb and he didn't like things to go to waste if he could help it become something practical and useful.
I also remember him teaching us about the bees and how they made honey. I remember my dad getting little boxes of bees in the mail and watching them buzz around in the tiny box. I know how important the queen bee is to the hive. I know that there are worker bees, who do a lot of work, and drones who don't do as much. It fascinated me and I thought about it a lot. I still love the taste of honey and I think I always will.