welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, June 30, 2016

country n news-honey harvest story


here is the end result of this story
what follows is how we got there

in early 2015 i saw that this bee lady was going to do
a talk about honeybees at my favorite garden nursery
so off i went
with notebook in hand

i took lots of notes that day and got a lot of handouts
i told my wife she when i got home
i am ready to to do this now

i went to this bee ladys classes
two of them
from early beginners to beginners classes
i went to the gurus class
les crowder the guru of topbar hives
since thats the one i settled on
since when i got older i didnt want to have to lift heavy
bee boxes

now we live 45 miles from the monthly bee meetings
as we took care of our beehive
i used books and you tube videos to guide me through
the first year
occasionally sourcing a beekeeper whenever i could

what i found out was
the bees really take care of themselves
you sort of leave them alone
occasionally take a peek at things to make sure nothing
bad is going on

i thought
you know bees have been taking care of themselves
without help for thousands of years
without mankinds intervention

so this week it was time to do our first honey harvest
of our topbar hive
so i took a peek through our drop down door on our hive
which reveals a plexiglass window
there were at least what looked like 7 or so honeycombs
looking laden with honey

i bundled up my wife she in her short suit
well she didnt tighten things up around the edges
like she should have
paid the price she did
once on the arm
which now takes up most of her upper arms with redness
and swelling
whatcha learn i said

but the one that got inside her bee hood
between the screen and her face
was the worse
i had to make a decision
let her get zapped on the cheek or nose or lips
sacrifice that particular guard bee

she the honeybee was going to die either way
if they sting you they die doing it
i sure my wife she appreciated by stream of thought on this

i hate to lose bees
so i contemplated for awhile
too long my wife she said in an unfriendly tone
that guard bee is no longer with us

my plan i thought
was to gently look at the last 3 combs
to make sure the combs were all capped with honey
to make sure there was plenty left for the bees
you know they worked so hard for this honey
its a relationship we have
i keep an eye on things
they pay me with some honey

so i suited up like looking like a spaceman
smoked them real good
this tends to calm them down

they think
i think
oh no someone is attacking us and stealing our honey
so they go into doing whatever they can to save their honey
sucking it up themselves
attacking the intruders like dive bombers
they only had one kill though
it was my wife shes upper arm
no repeating here what she said though

i gently lifted the first honeycomb
kerplumk it went into the bottom of the hive
a oozing glob of honey and bees

only one thing to do
just grab what you can and put it in the bucket

then i gently lifted another
kerplunk again

this isnt good i said

so after a long time in the heat of the day
oh wait that was my problem the heat of the day
thats why the kerplunking happened of the honeycombs
they were like

it was my plan
to gently lift the honeycomb
brush off the bees
trim the comb into the bucket
replace the guide bar back in the hive
put the cover back on the hive
a quart of honey would then be extracted
didnt happen that way though
we got
a large container of broken oozing honey
mixed in with lots of our bees
trying to save the honey
my wife she got a bee sting that looks like it will stay with her
for awhile

we about got heat stroke
we were both gassed when we mange to get all the bees
brushed off our suits
to get inside where it was cool

here is the harvest
we took this kiss method of extracting the honey
using quart jars and cheese cloth and duct tape
to let the honey ooze from the top jar
down to the lower one
like the sands of time

in summary
was it worth
my wife she said yes as she poured honey on her yogurt
and blueberries and mixed nuts this morning
except of course for that missile attack
the loss of bee lives

next time
since we are learning by the seat of our plants
we hope to be sting free
to have no loss of bee lives with our next harvest

this honey tastes so good

the country n organic wildflower native plant honey
1 gallon of it

the organicgreen doctor

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