Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seeing and believing

This was our first honey extraction in our new garage. It worked well. We were thankful for good help. The job would not get done without Kevin. He is one of those people that see a job that needs doing and does it. In fact he sees it before most of us are aware it is going to need to be done. Bob and I think that we could do the work by ourselves but we would be at it for a very long time—probably weeks—with just the two of us.

We got a late start this year because of so many other activities that took precedence. Usually, we start on Labor Day weekend but we chose to go to a garage sale at my sister’s house instead.

Usually, we start early in the morning—this time we started in the afternoon because we went for a Suicide Prevention Walk with some other family members first.

When we did start, the kids had ballgames and practices and meets and other interests. Steven came and donated a few hours of hard work.

David showed up to be on bee patrol for a bit before his football game.

We only got in a couple hours of work on the first day. The second day we also could not start until the afternoon. Kevin graciously appeared again and then we gladly welcomed the help of Joe and Kathi and Jessica, too.

Joe did most of the uncapping and heavy lifting,

Bob ran the extractor. This is a bad picture. I did not take many pictures this year. It was at a rare moment when Kevin was sitting. Kevin barely took time for a bite to eat. He washed equipment and moved and scraped supers and mopped our ever sticky floor and did all kinds of dirty jobs.

The girls efficiently and tirelessly bottled honey.

When we quit for the day, we still had one short stack of supers to do. A few years ago, we would have worked until 10:00 pm or until the job was done but we tire more quickly now and when our help needed to go home towards late afternoon, Bob and I quit as well. We were tired.

I am paranoid about wax moths. We lost a couple of hundred pounds of honey early this season to wax moths because we brought the honey in and did not get around to extracting for a couple of weeks and the honey and frames were destroyed by wax moths. It was devastating.

I knew that Bob was going to be traveling and that we would have to let our honey sit for a week before we extracted. Being concerned about the wax moths, I brought pails, bottles and everything portable that we use to extract our honey into the house.

I covered everything else and used many very large plastic bags to cover our honey supers and seal them as tightly as possible.

Then I closed up the garage and set off a bug fogger. I saw a moth on Tuesday evening and so I set off another fogger. However just after I started it, I noticed something to bring inside. In my haste to retrieve it and get in the house, I knocked over the fogger—reached for it to set it upright and at the same time, the force of the spray turned it towards me and I got some spray in my left eye.

I went in and flushed my eye with contact solution and took out my contact and thought little else about it, figuring it would be fine in the morning—and it was—or so it appeared so I put in my contact lens and went to Bible study. At Bible study, my eye really began to seriously bother me. However, I could not take out my contact because I had not brought any reading glasses and reading is essential in a Bible study.

When I got home, I was very glad to take out my contact and wash my eye and continue with my day—particularly a hair appointment. It is too hard to reschedule and I was desperate for it. Following that, I went on to my tutoring class because they were depending on me. By the time I arrived home at 5:45, my eye looked disgusting and was hurting.

Today, I had an eye doctor appointment. I have a nasty eye infection and am putting drops in my eye every half hour. It is hard to get anything done as they sting a bit each time. I will see the eye doctor again in the morning. He says it should heal in a few days. I hope he is correct. I am very grateful to live in a place where doctors are accessible and knowledgeable. We are blessed!

The eye doctor said, my infection could be from the spray but perhaps not. He thinks it is more likely that I scratched my eye when removing my contact lens and had a mild abrasion which was a good entry point for the infection. In any case, I believe this is another beekeeping hazard. We have had many in the past so this just adds to our repertoire. Ben Franklin said, "Honey is sweet but the bee stings."

Today, I would not be a persuasive person to recruit new beekeepers to our hobby. They would take one look at me and run. But here on the blog, you can’t see me and I must say, “This fresh honey on toast is the best!”

I have been enjoying our fresh honey more than ever. It is delicious. I took some fresh honey in the comb for my tutoring kids to taste and to chew the wax. I told all of them, “You do not have to eat it. Try it, and if you don’t like it, please put it in your napkin and then in the waste can.” Every single one of them ate it—wax and all and asked for more. They asked if they could get a jar of honey for good behavior rewards on Friday. They can choose from all kinds of treats on Fridays, if they earn enough behavior points and they want honey!

I'm still a believer. Beekeeping is worth the risks.


Rebecca said...

I don't have to tell you to continue to take good care of that eye!

I also hear your gratitude for Kevin! What an encourager he must have been.

The whole process of extraction sounds very complicated to me - WITHOUT the moth thing even...Happy to hear that your new garage is suitable for your "hobby".

Rebecca said...

Oh. Did I tell you that while helping a friend with some yard work Tuesday night Gary and I both got stung several times by some bees we stirred up?

Between the bits and some poison oak or ivy, I'm a sight for sore eyes!

Brenda said...

Yes, Rebecca, I saw that on your blog. I am sooo sorry. The poison oak or ivy reminded me that sometimes it seems that "No good deed will go unpunished." I don't really believe that but you were just out being a good friend and helper. Ouch! I hope you heal quickly.

Diana said...

Oh how I love honey toast. I think I'll have some for breakfast. Sorry to hear about your eye and hope it heals soon. Sounds like you had lots of great help. What a "Sweet" blessing! Love Di ♥

Brenda said...

Rebecca - I've been trying to figure out if you mean a sight for sore eyes or a sore sight for eyes. Either way, it sounds like it is the same for both of us.

Wanda..... said...

I just made buttermilk biscuits for lunch...your honey would have been perfect for them, but it was a cherry spread from Costco instead.