A Bee in Her Bonnet

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think.
Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do,
there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were,
but he didn’t know what it was called.”

– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh




On my husband’s last day off, the sun promised to be shining and the temperatures were going to be enjoyably warm  …

{beautiful sunrise on a September morn}

After a lovely cup of hot coffee in the morning, we decided it was a good day for Harvesting Honey.

It was a bright sunny day – one that is required when you open up the hives so that the bees are not all home at the same time.
We are still new to this bee keeping thing but my husband is thoroughly enjoying it. He fondly talks to the bees, calls them his friend and really, well, he  genuinely loves them. I am so thankful -as some aspects of our “homestead” he does not love (for example, the , ahem, goats). So it is a true pleasure to see him enjoying the  honey bees and actually liking this part of his at-home job {caring for the bees and hive} as Man around the House. Honeybees are quite amazing!  I think they might be the most interesting thing we have on our property. I am looking to get an obersvation hive for our house for next year. I cannot wait!
We have a LOT more glorious honey than last year – which is fantatic – although, I always feel a bit remorseful and slightly guilty for “stealing” the honey after the sweet honey bees worked so hard all spring and hot summer long.

Everything went well in regards to harvesting the lovely, golden honey. Abby is the perfect candidate for this job – as he is slow and steady and calm. As mentioned before, this is not a job for the faint of heart or the excitable of spirit.

We have a new honey extractor that worked fantastically well to help extract the golden goodness, which was a blessing.

We did, however, receive a few bee stings along the way. To be expected, for sure, although last year, Abby was able to harvest without one sting.  But not for this year. Poor Abby was stung on the legs and ankles and his head. (He ended up wrapping his legs in white garbage bags as the black socks were just not going over well with the bees – because, as you know or did not know, bees do not like dark colors).


There was one point where the bees became a bit more upset than their normal buzzing behaviour. I was hanging around, watching the extraction, attempting to take some photos, when the bees seemed to become more agitated. It was not long before I was running down the driveway, flinging the camera and trying not to cry, running away from the hive, with a lovely bee sting on my face. Yes, just one sting  … but boy do they hurt.  One even fly up my skirt (I know, what was I thinking?) but thankfully that poor bee escaped before harm was done to either the bee or myself). Abby, at this point, was walking fast (he never runs) away from the hive and trying not to swat at the bees that were quite upset. (Did you know bees can only see rapid movement? If you can – and it is nearly impossible while being stung – do not swat at the bees … just move calmly away – easier said than done, however). During all of this, only one daughter received a sting, thankfully – and she is our little Pooh Bear – constantly trying to steal honey so perhaps the bees know she is after their goodness.


{As she watched the golden liquid flow from the honey frames, she said and I quote: “My life is over. I live and diiiiiie for honey.”}



So in the end,  only Abby, Lovelyn and I were stung – Abby’s stings were much worse than mine but he, for some reason, does not swell at all. I, however, quickly resembled a 200 lb. version of myself {in the face area, anyways}.  [I have since discovered three out of the six girls, along with myself, are mildly allergic to bee stings – hence the swelling, the redness, the itch and rash. We have proved this as others who were stung did not react this way at all.]


In light of an entire day spent with the bees, however, mostly unsuited because it was just too hot to wear a suit and too cumbersome, I think Abby did a great job. Only about five stings or so, more than last year, but still not terrible. He is sore today though as the sting location swells and becomes quite tender. My sting, on my cheek, is slathered with baking soda paste right now as it is itchy and swollen. The girls break out laughing when I talk to them or they just sit and stare with their mouths open at my giant swollen, fat, red face.

But we have glorious honey. Swollen, itchy faces but lovely amber honey.

Beautiful, organic, amazing honey from our bees. It is so delicious {and oh, so healthy!} – the best we have ever tasted!

We are so grateful for these precious honey bees and all the work they do for us!





September 26, 2016 - 7:32 pm

Liz bronsveld Oh I’m.sorry you guys got stung!
Lillia got stung in the car the other day and I stuck some ongaurd EO on her sting…..it was literally gone in 10 mins! She reacts horriblly to any insect bites/stings so I was very relieved!
If you don’t have ongaurd, I’m sure you can look up the exact oils in ongaurd and put your own version together. I find its so effective

September 18, 2016 - 9:40 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb Sorry you got stung.. I have experienced a sting on my face too…not in the least easy to bear! And Abby and Lovelyn I will pray all of you don’t suffer too much and that swelling goes away quickly..your reward is the beautiful bounty of the sweetest !

September 16, 2016 - 3:35 pm

Maike Oh my, I guess you got lucky to not get stung near the eye, but I myself am allergic to bees with fever, swelling and all, so it really is not fun to be stung. But the honey experience and taste must be amazing. My grandparents lived in a small cottage for awhile in a forest with other cottages around and the neighbor had a bee hive. I was always afraid to walk past the bees as child but we got to look at how the honey is processed from the hive to getting it into the jar. And then he somehow had 2 or 3 different sorts of honey in buckets and it was warm honey. We could always taste and chose the one we liked and sometimes lick the original wax board thing and it was amazing. You’re so lucky to have fresh self made honey (just a bit unlucky to get the stings). ^_^

September 15, 2016 - 2:27 pm

Lauren Gillian!!! I would love a jar! Too bad we didn’t live closer! Anyway… I don’t think we could have bees… I think all of us couldn’t keep ourselves calm and collected around all those stinging insects! Lol! Good on Abby for doing such a great job