My History With Bees
Along about 1972 or so, I did some carpentry work for my brother-in-law. He was getting ready to sale his house and small parcel of land in West Odessa, Texas. I reworked the ridge roof line on his shed/shop. I was expecting some kind of monetary reimbursement, but to my surprise/dismay, he gave me 2 hives of bees consisting of 4 brood boxes and 8 honey supers.
My brother was a beekeeper, but getting him to tell me anything about bees was just as hard as getting him to explain/help me rebuild my rear end in a 1950 International/Harvester pickup truck. That didn’t happen either.
One of the colonies was very strong and the other was very weak. I ended up combining both colonies and all the wooden ware into one stack. I had a screwdriver for a hive tool and an old smoker and burlap sacks. I didn’t know about the veils and gloves and bee suit and all the rest. My brother did loan me a 2 frame extractor and told me to strain the honey through my wife’s pantyhose.
I begged the pantyhose from my wife and put one leg inside the other, nailed to the cross frame of the kitchen door, poured the honey into the top, and as the honey came out of the foot, I had a pint jar waiting for the honey. That was a trip. Luckily, we had several cases of jars on hand as my wife was going to try to do some canning on her own. That didn’t happen as we used all the jars for honey.
I had 7 supers of honey and that gave me about 5 cases of pints and 2 cases of quarts and a whole bunch of spilled honey in our kitchen. I did win a blue ribbon for my display, one for my honey, and sold all that I had brought with me at the County Fair. (Did I mention that I was the only honey booth there?)
That was my introduction to the wonderful World of Honey Bees. I had them for 2 years before I started driving cross country in an 18 wheeler. In 1996 I was a pedestrian when anÂ 18 wheeler hit me and officially retired me from the workforce. About 2 years into my rehabilitation, my wife told me to find a beekeeping club or something along that line. She wanted me to get out of the house and do something. I was vegetating to the point of not doing anything but getting fat and lazy. I did and after 2 years, I bought my first 4 hives and have been keeping bees ever since. Just goes to show that some things do come around again.