First Honey

I got in to check on my bees a couple weeks ago. A brave Cedric was there with camera. Happily, he was just as amazed and thrilled to see my bees in the hive as I always am. They were busy and so calm.

Cedric gets some great photos as I pull up bar after bar heavy with honey and bees. He is thrilled to see inside the hive. I am thrilled to share my passion with anyone who will take part. You can’t help but catch it, if you get me talking about bees. And it’s hopeless if it’s me and my bees. The joy surrounds me in a swarm and makes me dizzy. Come near me and you’ll be swept away in it. You’ll catch the buzz, you will see beauty, you will be brought to the moment. It will stop your mind, just as it does mine. Pull you down to this moment. With bees. Working. With sole purpose. In a hive. Just get close, and you’ll be transfixed, as I am. And Cedric was.

I pull out bars and we watch my beautiful girls at work. My first hive is absolutely thriving. I am amazed that in about one month they have almost filled the hive with comb & honey! Out of the 24 bars, they have 19 (almost) full! In a month they built and filled 6 bars.

I pull up bars that are heavy with honey. Not even quite full yet, but so heavy.

I’m enthralled with Cedric’s photos. I can never capture this when I’m focused on inspections, maintenance, or just plain adoration. Check the pollen packed into perfect hexagonal cells. The variation of colors. Wondrous.

The darker capped cells here are brood – bees in the pupal stage before they emerge as adults.

I get toward the back of the hive & they’ve got some of the comb built a bit crosswise. A lesson for this new beekeeper yet again to keep a better watch on their progression of building comb.

This last bar of comb is completely crossed and attached to the next bar. I try to pull it out and salvage it, but to my dismay, a big chunk of it falls to the floor of the hive – bees and all!! Here I go. I go into – “oh this is a disaster” mode. But Cedric. He is there to help and, just as my bees do, he pulls me into the moment. Even the thought of disaster disappears. And just exactly like my bees, we just work. Cedric & I just work. We salvage every bee we can. And we take honey. Sweet reward after hard work.

I decide to take the full bar and finally have my first taste of honey MY BEES produced. It is amazing. The most incredible honey I have ever tasted. From my bees. Wondrous. Cedric & I do our best, but unavoidably kill a number of bees in harvesting this comb. I brush mad bees off the intact comb left on the bar. Despite all this disruption, comb on the floor, honey everywhere, and a few crushed bees, there were NO stings. On me or Cedric, who was totally in there helping me. Not even one bee came out in a buzz of warning. I know my bees. I know their sounds and warnings. Not one came at us. They are busy and calm and I have to think – accepting. And so were we, I suppose. Calm and accepting. But, I’m still amazed. They allowed us the fruits of their great labor, as it were, so graciously. I think back on this and take pause. I hope I can always take pause at that which has given me so much. I hope I will always bow down to that which brought me here. Brought me to this moment. To this moment of gratitude and respect. I hope to always live in such reverence. Reverence. I hope you will seek it too. Cut away. Cut away all of it until you find that which you revere. I know you will find it. Keep digging. It is there. Just for you. ONLY for you.

Cedric made crêpes. We had crêpes and this incredible honey that my bees gave us. I revered. Bees. Honey. Cedric. And me – Jo.

2 responses to “First Honey

  1. Hi Mary,
    I’m so amazed and inspired! What a delight to read this!!
    So much to learn from the bees.

    • Hi Audrey! You know it – I love these bees! Wait until you taste their honey. It is the best honey I’ve ever had!! Hopefully, I’ll bring you some soon!

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