Okay, I’ll admit it, I totally cracked myself up with this headline! If you didn’t get it, read on.
On Monday, my new hobby arrived. It’s no secret I keep myself pretty busy with my eclectic interests and hobbies. Such as what? I love to read and I really love to write. In addition to my blog and my freelance work, I’ve also written a book for Kyle (I thought it’d be neat to write a book for him that includes his interests, minus the video games. Perhaps one day I’ll give it to him) and began a few others, but that’s not the big news. Unbeknownst to some, I’m an outdoorsy person. I spend a great deal of my summer mornings and evenings in the garden, and tending to the fruit and nut trees, and raising our chickens and turkeys, but that’s not the big news. I enjoy fishing and during the winter months, I snowboard and hunt. With all this rugged activity, I do have an artsy side to me. I enjoy photography, mostly shooting nature and documenting family traditions through imagery. In my past life, high school and college, I used to express myself through pottery, throwing on the wheel was my favorite, but that’s not the big news. I do try and be active, either going to the gym, running, or hiking with the dogs, but that’s nothing new. And everyone knows all these activities are usually spent with Kyle and my family, except the exercising part. So what else could I possibly add to my hobby portfolio? Bees!
Yes, honey bees! I’m a beekeeper! How on earth did I get into bees? Along with my dad, I’ve always had an interest in bees, being a huge fan of honey, especially honey on the comb. I LOVE honey! Maybe not as much as Kyle, but regardless, it’s a staple in our household. Ironically, I wrote a blog post about these buzzing pollinating creatures in 2013 Random Fun Facts: Bees.
How does one become a beekeeper? Well, I’m very blessed to have my cousin Pete, who is a beekeeper, who tends to about eight hives of his own. Not only did he give us our first hive from a swam he gathered locally, but he’s been teaching dad and myself everything he knows about bees. He even introduced us to an organization of beekeepers that he belongs to, in this area. They hold monthly meetings to inform and educate local beekeepers on bees and everything associated with this activity. There’s an organization dedicated to beekeepers? In the Latrobe area? Oh, YES! Unfortunately, I missed the first meeting this year, but I’ll bee (pun intended) sure to attend the next one, which is around the corner.
How much is there to learn about bee keeping? A lot! First and foremost, bees are very delicate creatures. We can’t use anything unnatural on the garden or fruit tress for fear of killing them. Mites are also a very real danger. Believe it or not, they can wipe out an entire hive! Dad’s been doing a lot of reading on bees and our new hobby. He found a natural remedy for the mite problem, dust the bees with powered sugar. Seriously? Yes! Well, the bee knowledge list goes on and on. Similar topics are addressed and discussed at the bee meetings, to learn from the experienced beekeepers. Very exciting if you ask me!
Did you know consuming local honey actually helps the body build up an immunity to local allergens? That’s the word on the street. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but ingesting honey over long periods of time, will decrease allergies. At least that’s what I read in an article. In a way, I wish our bees would hang around the poison ivy, to build up my immunity. Regardless, how can anyone go wrong with such a natural sweet treat. It’s great for all meals in just about anything.
On a side note, did I mention I’m allergic to yellow jackets? Not terribly, I’ve never gone into anaphylaxis, but I guess there’s always a chance. I do swell considerably and get huge, I mean huge, three inch diameter hives, all over my body. I know it sounds silly for me to be a beekeeper, but bees are so very interesting, and nothing beats fresh honey. I’ll just have to be cautious. Who knows, I might not even have a reaction to the bee sting. After all, bee stings are said to be good for arthritis and those suffering with multiple sclerosis.
Bee (again pun intended) prepared for more bee talk in the near future. I have a feeling this is going to be quite the adventure!