Nineteen years ago, while working in our yard, I was stung by several bees. Annoyed, I tried to ignore the lumps and went back to work. The next morning I woke up feeling like I did back in my twenties - no aches and pains of my usual arthritis in my 73 year-old body!! That's how I discovered the 'magic' anti-inflammatory properties of bee venom. After reading about this phenomenon, I learned that honey and other bee products also have similar anti-inflammatory and healthful effects on the human body.
That winter I decided to educate myself and try my hand at raising honey bees. Learning a new hobby that my 'better half' and I could share, that would also help me feel healthier, seemed like a smart idea!
Well. growing up poor but resourceful, I learned many ways to achieve the desired outcome without reaching too deep into my wallet. I found that recycled pallets made for some great lumber to construct my woodenware. We joined a couple of bee clubs and attended meetings, listening to well-versed speakers and interacting with other beekeepers.
I’ve always found ‘hands-on’ experience was the best teacher. We started off with 2 hives (colonies). The second year we grew to 5. Currently we’re at 30 + - depending on growth and swarms. As my knowledge grew from year to year, I received requests to teach others about raising bees. I also started relocating swarms and removing hornets. Our hobby became a small business. Oh well, I was never good at being retired anyway.
Not only have we learned to be good beekeepers, we have also met some wonderful people who share our enthusiasm for promoting honey bee health and their important role in our food supply.
See Chris's latest adventure (copy the video link into your browser) :
Thank you so much again for sharing your passion and expertise about the important role honeybees play in a healthy foodshed. The video was used as an Authentic Performance Task developed in partnership with Norwalk Public Schools for the 1,250 plus students enrolled in this year’s Norwalk Summer Academy.
The children loved the video! Many of them commented that they would be careful not to hurt honeybees now that they know they just want to smell them.
We plan to include a snippet of the video in our Norwalk Summer Academy mini-documentary to be shown at our September 5 Back-to-School community celebration from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Stepping Stones. This will be an open-to-the public event, including local city leaders, healthy foodshed advocates and invited media. A formal invitation will be sent to you in the near future, but we hope you’ll join us to share your expertise at the event.
Please let us know if you need any additional information or would like me to write a brief intro for you to post with the video on your website. Also, if you have any trouble posting it, we can help!
THANK YOU for your kind support. We’re very grateful for your partnership.
OLD BEEKEEPERS SAYING : )
A swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon; but a swarm in July is not worth a fly: a proverbial bee-keepers' saying, mid 17th century; meaning that the later in the year it is, the less time there will be for bees to collect pollen and nectar from flowers in bloom.
We all have pet names for our life partners. To make a very long story short, more than 40 years ago we went on one of our many scuba diving adventures to the Caribbean. We came upon a little monkey tied to a tree on the side of the road - he was really adorable but there was a big sign "Dangerous Monkey - Do Not Touch" - we immediately went over to him (animal lovers that we are) and petted him. From that moment I started calling Chris "Monkey" - tough and dangerous-appearing to the world but with a kind, soft center inside.
At that time, I was a Pediatric Nurse and I was looking for uniform tops that had pockets to hold all my supplies. (This was back in the 1980's when nurses wore white pants and colored tops). On a trip to Mexico, I tirelessly looked for colorful native tops with pockets that I could wear for work. Chris started calling me "Pockets".
From that moment forward (and for the past 40+ years), our nicknames were ‘Monkey’ and ‘Pockets’. Hence, Monkey’s Pocket Apiary. (Yes...corny, but true)
Give a friend some honey, you will satisfy them till the honey is gone.
Encourage them to raise and nurture honey bees,
You will have a friend for life, helped Mother Nature in her plight to save our ravaged planet,
But most of all do a righteous act that will be appreciated long after you are gone!