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This. I thought I was the only one. If that honey side gets a little "crunchy" from the honey ... oh man. My mouth is watering.
Nah. The ultimate is hot toast with butter and a lick of a strong bush honey.

Not much to beat that 馃構
 

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Six or seven years ago when I retired from farming, my kids bought me three nucs. They said they didn't want me to get lazy. :( I knew NOTHING about bees, zero interest in them, nor how to keep them alive, and zero equipment.

I hit the internet to see what beekeeping was all about. Ran out and bought a hooded suit, smoker and three deep boxes with frames. I got stung 6 times just transferring 3 nucs to their new homes. Lost two of the three over the first winter, but split the one strong hive the next spring into three colonies. Here we go again.

Today there are 18-20 colonies spread out over three apiaries and we (I) bottled up over 50 gallons of honey this past summer. I'm so glad they can survive in spite of my ignorance now & then. (y)
 

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Don't let Ray fool you. He's in it for the money! :) :D

I started in 1969 when my dad traded for 2 hives of bees and told me I could have them. 6 years later, I had about a dozen colonies. Ask me in another 50 years if I still like beekeeping.
 

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I'm not a big honey eater. I eat maybe a pint a year, well, no more than a quart per year for sure. I keep bees because of my fascination of the behavioral and social structures in a hive. The Biology of the hive workings. The inside of a hive is just so very intriguing and interesting to me. When I pop a lid, the whole rest of the world fades away and a calm peace comes over me with no worries at all. The hive has my very full attention, the sight, the smells, the sounds, the activities. Still wonderful to behold even after all these years.
That is truly beautiful Ray.

Last spring I was trying to "course" (Dad's term for bee-lining) some feral bees from our backyard with an iPhone compass from an open feeder. By getting another reading from ~100yd/m away I was able to put the coordinates into a program and find the colony, high up in an oak tree, very close to where the lines intersected about a quarter mile from home.

Somewhere in this process I recalled a Sunday afternoon with Dad around 1977. The year before he had cleared a field and fed hay on the open ground to the 5-6 cows we had, to get pasture started. This particular afternoon he brought a few supplies including some honey and a jar lid. He put out some honey and heated a small portion on a stick. We waited about an hour, ... but no takers. He then put some honeycomb on the jar lid and heated it until it produced vapors. Within minutes we had a bee or two investigating. It was very exciting!

We didn't find those bees that day, but it was a great day for an 11-year-old boy. It was odd that I hadn't seen it before, but the feeder where I took my first readings last spring was only a few feet from where we stood over 40 years ago. Dad has been gone for 12 years, but as I look out the back door at that spot, and see hundreds of bees in the air, I just want to say, "Dad, I found them!"
 

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In most cases, the longer one keeps bees the less one gets stung. However, there are always exceptions ( I know one fella that averages over a hundred a year, he's kinda the 'nervous' type ).

Keeping oneself calm and focused when messing w/ bees is a prerequisite.
 

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Intellectually, I know you are right. I can handle it all when I am prepared for it. When I am not, I still go all reptilian brain.

It took me 55 years to get like this, I may not reverse it in my first year. :)
Preparation only takes you so far. I've rarely entered a colony and haven't been surprised by something unexpected. For me, that's part of the enjoyment of beekeeping.
 

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I'm okay with the unexpected - that's just life. I need to get okay with the surprises the ladies give me is all.

I'll tell the story here because if anyone can appreciate it, you guys can: Last weekend I was at the Missouri State Beekeepers Conference. I was sitting outside the Student Union Saturday morning waiting for the building to open. It was a gorgeous morning, I had a fresh cup of coffee in my Yeti, and I'm not going to tell you that watching the ladies' track team practicing was horrible either.

Well a local girl was buzzing around and I was watching her with interest but I have to say my reptile brain was back there screaming at me. She landed on my hand, I didn't scream. All is good so far. She took off and circled around my head a little bit, but by this time there were beeks walking around. No screaming, no screaming, all good. She decided that plain, black coffee, never even had sugar in the cup, was interesting. She landed on the cup and I thought she would take off again, nope. So, I decided it's time for her to leave.

Did I softly brush her off? Nope. I blew on her.

Some of you are laughing at this point because the expected happened. She flew right at my face, and I lost my composure. I ran around in a few circles, I don't think I screamed, and thankfully none of the other beeks saw. At least none of them pointed and laughed which is just as good.
 

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Quite often the bee making the most noise and is 'presumptively' the most menacing is likely a Drone, which tend to be both loud and curious. It's when you have a few that keep bumping into your veil that you probably have an excited worker guard bee....telling you off in the only way they know (shy of stinging/suicide), but also mostly just curious to 'know' whether you're a threat or not.

Remain calm. Don't forget to keep breathing.
 

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I'm like you in that I don't eat much honey. In fact, have problems figuring out what to do with what I get although making mead has opened up interesting hobby. They are expensive and fascinating to watch. It is a spiritual experience for sure and gives me greater connection with the God who created them. I truly love my bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
LBussy,
So long as you didn't spill your coffee...
I've found bees like my coffee. I drank a bee once that had flown into my coffee unnoticed by me. I chewed her up to make sure no stings on the way down. She tasted green and made me gag a little. :oops:
 

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Oh man ... and I'm eating lunch!
 

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Know it or not, like it or not, insects of one kind or another are a probable part of our daily diets. They may not be on the menu or listed ingredients, but it's a safe bet none the less.

Not sure about mature bees with stingers (got me thinking' now), but most larva (including honeybee) are quite tasty when lightly fried or grilled in some olive oil.
 

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Nope!
 

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I'm not a big honey eater. I eat maybe a pint a year, well, no more than a quart per year for sure. I keep bees because of my fascination of the behavioral and social structures in a hive. The Biology of the hive workings. The inside of a hive is just so very intriguing and interesting to me. When I pop a lid, the whole rest of the world fades away and a calm peace comes over me with no worries at all. The hive has my very full attention, the sight, the smells, the sounds, the activities. Still wonderful to behold even after all these years.
Ditto Ray, I could care less about the honey. I do harvest the couple of gallons I get, just so I can give it away to friends and family. Cracks me up the way they act like I just gave them something worth a million dollars. Like you, I am just fascinated by these little creatures. Like you said, it's another world when you pop that lid open. I thought I was the only weirdo...lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I tell ya what Steve, I've got three hives and I coulda pulled probably 5 gallons of extracted honey this year. But to tell the truth, I just didn't feel like that much work for honey so left it on the hives. For only approximately 5 gals estimated for 3 hives, you can see I don't keep bees in an area with any great flows. Well, either that or I just don't know how to manage for honey eh? ;)
 

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My Dad did bees as a side-gig.
While his other side-gig was building houses (being a math and physics teacher).

I now feel this runs in a family - hoping the bees will grow from just a hobby into a side-gig too.
Closer to retirement.

But, certainly, absence of real honey and bee bread what really pushed me into this.
Nearly impossible to get the real stuff.
 
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