A Sweet Season
I was walking to my parents house when an old smell hit me. It’s a sentimental smell that has been around me since before I could walk, but that a lot of people would not make the connection on. The smell of corn husk smoke. Ever since I can remember, my family has kept bees. My father kept them as a boy. Each year, right into my adult life, we have always smelled the smell of corn husk smoke at least once or twice a year. The smoke is used to calm the bees while we take the honey from the hives and put new frames in for them to fill.
The honey comb has long been a favorite treat. When you eat honey comb, you chew on the whole comb, suck out the honey and then spit the wax back out. I really don’t recommend eating the wax. It’s not particularly digestible. Honey comb is more expensive to buy in the store, and is less commonly found in most grocery stores. As bee keepers though, we have several advantages. For one, obviously, when we’ve had a good harvest, we will get a fair amount of honey comb, and we will also get a decent amount of honey.
For another, our bees help our gardens to thrive. Bees spread pollination around for the plants. Having bees around, cuts back on the amount of work that we might have to do with pollinating plants. I know some people are very afraid of them, but for the most part, if you don’t swat or grab or squish them, the bees will be gentle creatures….unless they are African bees which are a whole ‘nother story.
The African bee is what is sometimes known as the killer bee because they are more aggressive yet than the yellow jacket wasp. But most of the bees you would have dealings with if you chose to keep bees, will be Italian, Russian, or some other docile breeds that developed specifically for docility while the bee keeper has to mess around in their hive, and, of course, for honey production.
If you have any questions for us about keeping bees, feel free to post them in the comments below and if I don’t know the answer, my father George probably will.
Until next time,
Homestead in health ya’ll!