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Honeyrun Farm produces pure raw, honey, handcrafted soap, and beeswax candles in Williamsport, Ohio

Blog

Planet G

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

Welcome to Planet Goldenrod.

Where the bees find happiness.

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Where the pollen traps are quickly filled.

Can a praying mantis also find happiness?

Can a praying mantis also find happiness?

Where the floral world has exploded in orange.

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With a little white here and there…

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If it’s time for a pollen run, my Baby Girl, my Princess will usually insist on riding along. She’s a real nature lover. A bee-hugger. Not to mention a great helper and sampler.

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Yesterday I told her all about Greta Thunberg and the school kids skipping a day to get out and save the planet.

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Eden thought this sounded like a good idea. I suggested that perhaps she learn to read before becoming an Earth activist.

Let’s stick with Planet G for now.

Gretta of the Goldenrod…

Gretta of the Goldenrod…

We’ll stay in school for the time being.

This week Jayne asked me to collect some pollen run footage for social media.

Most pollen runs are in the mornings. I’m alone almost always. It’s cool, the bees are calm, and I can wear a t-shirt.

Not so after school.

It’s nice to have my Baby Girl along. She’s a helper, she’s a sampler, and she’s a photographer. But the thing is, in the heat of the afternoon, you almost have to suit up.

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The air is filled with commotion. For the bees in mid-September, there most definitely is a Planet G.

R.I.P. Bee Man

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

As I was yammering about the Lithopolis Honeyfest last Thursday, Arnold Crabtree, the Honeyfest founder was living his last day.

Arnold was The Bee Man.

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He was a local icon.

The cheerful face, the animated persona of beekeepers here in central Ohio.

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It’s hard to write this, saying “he was.” Arnold is still so alive in my memories. I loved to talk bees with him, as did so many others. His passing put a shock and a damper on the initial hours of the festival, but the somber mood didn’t last long. As we shared stories, it sort of turned into a Bee Man celebration.

He got the ball rolling on this thing, and we were not about to let it drop. He had touched the lives of so many.

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Other years Arnold and Darla had run a booth, selling his Bee Man Honey. Darla had to do most of the selling, as Arnold, the face of the festival, was busy with bee beards and bee evangelism.

This year we saw the opening of a small museum of relics and beekeeping antiques. Once again, Arnold was the visionary.

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Jayne and I were fortunate enough to attend his funeral on Tuesday. There, we got to see old friends and share more Arnold stories… stories centered around bees of course.

Here is the first part of his obituary:

Arnold Crabtree, 77, went home to be with his Savior on September 5, 2019. He was born on May 20, 1942.
Arnold was a welder, burner at Buckeye Steel for 16 years and a ship fitter at Ingalls shipyard and Bethlehem Steel. He retired due to his health and became a self-employed entrepreneur, and later in life realizing his calling as a bee keeper. He affectionately became known as the "Bee Man." Arnold was the founder of the Lithopolis Honeyfest when his idea of a honey bee festival became a reality in 2007. Arnold remained active in the festival until his retirement in 2016. Arnold was also the founder of the Scioto Valley Beekeepers Association in Circleville, OH.

Yes, he founded our club! As a result of Arnold’s foresight, dozens of people gather, talk bees and network every month. For that, we made him an honorary “Life Member.”

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And I think he’s the only one. The rest of us still cough up our annual $15 per family. (Man, some guys get all the breaks!)

It struck me that Arnold didn’t reach his iconic status until the last decade of his life. Over sixty years went by before he found his beehive enlightenment.

This fact, for some strange reason makes me feel really good. You never know when you’ll stumble into your wheelhouse.

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I got to thinking about the lyrics of a Townes Van Zandt song.

Days, up and down they come
Like rain on a congadrum
Forget most, remember some
But don't turn none away
Everything is not enough
And nothin' is too much to bear
Where you been is good and gone
All you keep is the getting there

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To Live is to Fly.

When you’re a Bee Man.