Monday, September 20, 2010

The Beekeepers' Helpers

Things don’t always go as planned. Tod and I harvested a truck load of honey from one of our bee yards and then headed for the honey house. A short time later, a hose fitting broke; and engine coolant started gushing out. With the truck disabled, we stopped and called for a wrecker to take the truck the short distance from Memphis to a repair shop in West Memphis. Loading the truck, the wrecker driver accidentally knocked over a concrete street light, which crashed onto his wrecker. The electric company’s lineman responded to handle the exposed wiring. Police officers arrived to investigate the accident. Another wrecker was called in, and the truck was transported to West Memphis and remained safely in the garage overnight loaded with supers full of honey. The following morning, the mechanics ordered parts and pushed the truck into the parking lot where it remained throughout the day. While the truck was in transit, covers protecting the honey supers had shifted enough to allow robber bees to enter. They carried away about three hundred pounds of honey before the truck was repaired. We shouldn’t measure the harvest until the honey is extracted and stored away.

Meanwhile, the beekeepers’ helpers, Ethan, Ashlyn, and Erin, proudly display a home-made pizza before placing it in the oven. Our grandchildren spent the night with Rita and I. They planned and assembled pizzas, played Boggle, watched Jackie Chan movies, fed ducks, geese, and chickens, and visited the honey house. Each of the children participates in various tasks involving beekeeping. Their other set of grandparents keep bees in Tennessee. Ashlyn’s parents moved a Louisiana bee yard damaged in Hurricane Katrina into new hives. Just as the children enjoy planning and making pizzas, they also help create honey soaps that are quite popular at farmers markets. The children help by suggesting mold shapes, textures, colors, scents, and names for the products. Their soaps make an attractive presentation along with honey and other bee hive products.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see kids pitching in and helping. Makes for a much closer family...also nice to see parents and grand parents taking the extra time necessary for them to take a liking to helping.