The B Life: We 'Bee' Farming

We 'Bee' Farming

Nick and I had our first honey harvest in the past few weeks. Those of you who follow along on Instagram may have noticed a rather funny (or slightly concerning, depending on who you are) collection of photos showing off Nick's cheekbone bee sting. We weren't terribly concerned, nor sympathetic, as Nick was not wearing his bee suit, and took the lid off the hive more aggressively than usual. For any of you who missed it, here's a picture of day 3 - and our second time at the hospital. 

The whole week was a bit of a haze. Saturday, Nick and I were at a wedding, and then Sunday we were getting the honey filled frames ready for harvest. Nick wanted to show myself and his sister what the full frames looked like, and he was a little zealous in his attempt to get into the hive. He also wasn't wearing his bee suit. The little bugger when straight for his eye and got him. We pulled the stinger, iced his face, and put some Polysporin on. We continued honey extraction without any hitches and left the honey in a big bucket overnight so that any remaining comb would separate (it's supposed to do this).

The next morning, Nick woke up with a swollen eye. He immediately send me a picture (which I will not post here), and we got some ice on it and pumped him with Benadryl. After about 8 hours of jarring honey, and no relief on the sting front, we trudged on up to the ER where they gave him a shot of Benadryl, and told him to go home. 

On Tuesday, the swelling progressed over his whole face, and his lips and chin were tingling a little, so off we went to the After-Hours clinic, where the Doctor told him to stop taking Benadryl, put him on a steroid to take down the swelling, and Reactine because it's non-drowsy. He also came out with a Doctor's Note prescribing him to be off work for the week since his vision was impaired and he couldn't drive. 

On the whole, there was quite a bit of humorous jokes make on his account, and I felt like I was dating Quasimodo (the Hunchback of Notre Dame), for a few days. 

(DISCLAIMER: Nick is not allergic, and this was not an allergic reaction. It was, however, localized swelling from a very angry winged female who was not happy to have been disturbed.)

I'm happy to report that Nick's face is back to normal, and there have been no more bee stings. We even got around to printing cute labels and decorating the lids of the honey! We also tried our luck at making candles this weekend. Although the jars for the candles are a different take on the traditional mason jar, I have found that it only burns the wax within a 1 inch radius around the wick. 

We've got twice as many frames that will need to be harvested again within the next few weeks. Our hope is that we'll be able to get everything ready and put up a small stand in our town's Saturday Farmer's Market! Let me know what you think of the finished jars and labels!  

I feel like I am almost fully domesticated now (which I actually say with endearment, and not out of spite), and not in the way you domesticate a horse or a dog, but just capable of producing homemade goods and living sustainably. I love the simplicity and relaxation of making things - bread, jam, candles, honey. I think they are valuable skills to know, and they promote healthier living in the process.

Anyways, have a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping in. 

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