It doesn’t feel like spring around here until there are baby chicks peeping about, seeds are nestled into the earth and sweet little kittens nursing on their mama.
I made my chick order back in January because I remembered just how crazy everybody went with the pandemic buying all things a prepper might hoard last year. Whether it be toilet paper and flour to garden seeds, meat bird and egg layer chicks to bulk dry goods. So just in case people had the same mentality this year, I wanted to be ahead of the game!
I then had also ordered my seeds, and, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, a couple bee colonies.
As life seems to conveniently schedule itself, everything seemed to arrive all within the same week. Cue the chaos.
The adorable fluffy butt baby birds came first, and thankfully I had everything ready for their arrival this time. We did lose a couple in the beginning. That big trip through the postal service can be rough on their little systems! Thankfully the rest of the thirty chicks seem to be healthy and strong, and so stinking cute!
Honestly a baby version anything is completely irresistible. Which is why we weren’t entirely upset when one of our cats had a few kittens a couple weeks ago, and her sister is due any day now.
A few days ago I got the call that my bees were ready to be picked up. Here we go scrambling to get the last few things ready! I had watched a beekeeping course, took a class, skimmed through books, bought the hives and equipment..the only thing I procrastinated on was a beekeeping jacket. I found ONE left at our store an hour before picking up the bees. Insert praise hands 🙌
Now, I’ve never really had a fear of bees, and obviously I wouldn’t be stepping into the world of keeping bees if I wasn’t feeling mostly comfortable-ish. But I was a little nervous about actually being in the presence of SO many bees at one time because I never before have… until last evening!
Sometimes you just don’t know how you’ll react until you’re in the situation. I told myself to stay calm, don’t bees smell fear? Or is that just what we tell ourselves? I breathed slowly and calmly. I tried not to freak out when bees were settling on my pants. I may have imagined prickly sensations on my legs were bee stings. And I tried not to swat madly when a few bees came darting straight at my veil like a torpedo aimed to take down the giant. I felt a small moment if claustrophobia when I later couldn’t unzip my hooded veil just to get the hair out of my face and to take a full deep breath. BUT, I made it through despite minor moments of uncertainty, discomfort and unknown. I stood and watched the beekeeper remove each frame from the hive fully consumed with crawling bees moving so quickly it could make you dizzy. He was so calm and took his time inspecting the frame to find evidence that queen is doing her job laying eggs, the workers are building comb and covering the cells where eggs are laid. Explaining everything we were looking at with such a casual tone and how happy he was with the bees we were getting. It was all quite amazing to experience. The thrill of a could-be-dangerous situation without proper care and precaution. The awe of witnessing the beauty of nature working fully into its intended design and purpose. And the excitement that I would be taking this little adventure into my own hands.
I never dreamed of keeping bees, but this path we’ve taken has naturally led us to incorporate bees onto our homestead. Yes the honey is the main reason I wanted to accept this endeavor. We use so much of it in our home and I’m sort of a purist of my food sources. Give it to me natural, fresh and the way the good Lord intended it. I enjoy having some control of the raising or growing of food. And I love the experience of seeing a cycle from beginning to end, knowing full well that any single factor can wipe out my feeble attempts (remind me later to tell you about my tomato plants). It’s so satisfying to grow a seed and then to later enjoy its fruits at our table. Another reason for bees is the honey from our actual land will help with our own seasonal allergies. One of my boys has been taking allergy drops since winter of his particular allergens, slowly increasing the dosage to accumulate a resistance to those allergens. Consuming honey of these allergens will do the same thing. So cool huh. Adding pollinators to our garden and orchard is another reason we wanted bees. These amazing little creatures play such a major role in our worlds produce production, let alone on our little plot of earth. We simply cannot grow food without them.
I know full well so much is out of my control. God only knows the weather, the events of a day, if a predator will have its way or if a thing will simply not go as planned. It’s a beautiful place to be yielded to something bigger than myself, because it keeps me adaptable, on my toes and always learning. It’s humbling and it’s glorious to grow in these ways.