I don’t know how many Sunday nights I watched Jackie Gleason strut across the stage on our black and white TV declaring those words in his booming voice; that phrase would come back to haunt me tonight.
I have extracted and bottled my first honey. I set out on this journey thinking this was something I would cross off my bucket list. A year and many months later it has led to a job, a lively hood, friendships and a change in lifestyle I never could have imaged.
The small fruits of these labor have garnered me just over 13 pounds of liquid gold. The learning and relationships that have flourished from this small step are life changing. I don’t know how to neatly package the people and connections that I have made, small threads that helped me continue on, pursue a path, set out on a journey of epic proportions and believe in the power of a bee.
Wilson arrived with the spun frames and the bucket of honey. We wheeled the wood-cart out to the hive with all the equipment ready. I knew if the bees got a whiff of the honey-laden frames he had spun, they would start to swam. I worked quickly to replace their empty honey frames with the still dripping frames we had stolen. Next was to install the top feeders and fill them with the sugar syrup I made the night before. The first hive was fine The bees became agitated but we moved quickly and efficiently, closing it up as the breeze stiffened. The second hive was a challenge. The wind kicked up and suddenly the rain began to spatter in huge, drenching drops. I closed it up hastily and shed the stragglers out of the top feeder as best I could.
Next, we moved inside to bottle the honey. It was settled in the bucket and had very few bubbles.
As we worked, I looked up to see dozens of angry bees bumping against the screen door. They had braved the rain to follow the scent of their perfect product. We poured off 13.5 pounds into clean jars.
I know it is not a lot of honey for all the work, worry and expense but it is such a good feeling, such a good taste, to dip a silver spoon and say, ” How Sweet It Is!”