-Posted by Isaac
I love this job.
Summer and winter. Spring and Fall. It's so varied and interesting. Sometimes stressful, sometimes surprising and joyful, always weather dependent, always reliant on mother nature.
You learn to work with the seasons. Just a month ago we were hauling food to our girls.
Two weeks ago, our girls could make it out, but the cupboards were bare. We were happy to help them... a little jumpstart on mother nature.
And now things are really taking off. Protein is a bit easier to come by. On a walk across the field yesterday, Jayne and the kids got to witness our willows from a distance.
Awakening. Awakening! The world is coming alive, and the bees are the first to notice. You can stand beneath these willows and it sounds like you're in the middle of a swarm.
But even on the rough days, the lean times, beekeeping has its joys. One winter's day not long ago, I was checking a yard and trying to entertain the three oldest- Mason, Maizy and Bridger. Maizy of course quickly found my phone and started entertaining herself. She managed to snap a few pictures.
I didn't know she was taking these until looking through my phone days later. I had been feeding and observing the growing brood nests. These hives were strong. I was overjoyed at what I was seeing. I remember pulling a frame (just bees, not brood) and walking it over to the truck to show the kids. Of course Maizy didn't get a picture of that. She did however manage to get me cleaning up the one dead-out.
For maybe 20 minutes, I had been teaching, explaining, talking about bees and seasons and nature.
And I found a multitude of selfies.
What a wonderful occupation this is. In that we can work and share and learn right along with our children.
And, especially this time of year, a few other children.
Here they come!
We have a big honey farm elementary tour every spring.
And just last week it was fun entertaining around 700 people at the Westfall Science Extravaganza.
Everyone is fascinated by bees. Everyone likes to see what goes on at a honey farm.
Just last week we gave three tours. And I almost missed the third one by taking a long, late afternoon nap. (Sorry Jared and Ken.)
I was tired!
Spring comes, grass greens, trees bloom, people hear that hum in the air... and they think, wow!... beekeeping... I think I want to try that... I think I want my kids to see that... I heard about local honey blah blah blah... Let's go to the bee farm!
And so, this time a year we play host on many separate occasions. The thing is, it's also the busiest time of year. Not for selling honey, but most definitely for the keeping of bees. And the feeding and splitting and checking and moving of bees.
And this can really crimp the schedule. It's kinda hard to work bees and teach bees and entertain kids all at once.
So if you don't mind, let's hold off until summer on those spontaneous honey house tours. (Or better yet, mid-winter!) Not that I don't like sharing, it's just that I love my job too much. And the job gets intense in the spring.
Monday morning. No tours scheduled for today... the way I like it. I've got to get these girls ready for the apples!