A Newbie-Keeper In The Making

“The Bee Combing”

If you’re like me, you scream and run at the sight of insects (especially spiders…I hate spiders). So who would have imagined that one day I’d become a keeper of insects?

The first time I learned about beekeeping was in Hawaii. We were staying on a friend’s family farm where he kept 5 colonies. One day, my friend the beekeeper invited me to a honey harvest from a nearby hive. As we drove to the site, he started telling me about “his girls” (all worker bees are female). I quickly became fascinated by the process by which a bee converted pollen, nectar, and water into honey – the only food we eat that’s made by an insect.

Then there was the honey harvest – the sweet smell of honey and wood as you burn off the wax with a hot iron…the sight of honey oozing out like liquid gold…and of course, the explosion of euphoria in your mouth as you chew on a honey filled comb.

A month later, I find myself and a couple of other honey-combers at an apiary in Coquitlam, BC. Yes, I wore shorts and sandals. Yes, that is a leaf blower. No, I didn’t get stung. Yes, I float like butterfly.

After my second visit to an apiary, I decided to do a little more research on beekeeping and honey. I discovered that honey contained all the substances necessary to sustain life: enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water. I also found it interesting that the Israelites ate Mana, which tasted like honey, for 40 years before they entered into the land flowing with milk and honey. King Solomon, who wrote over 3000 proverbs instructs:

“Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste”
Proverbs 24:13-23

Even the dude who came up with E=mc² is reported to have said, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, we would have no more than four years to live.” Well, save the bees…save the world.

And that’s why I started beekeeping.

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