I started writing blogs related to leading our families as I was in the midst of raising my three children. In the many years since I began writing, my children have grown and moved away from home. My recent posts have been related to a variety of topics that the Holy Spirit have put on my heart and reviews of books that I have read. This past weekend I returned to an activity that I wish I could have shared with my children, but is another great activity and gift that you can share with your family.
Last year while visiting the home of one of my close friends, he gave me a jar of honey that he had harvested from bees he kept in his suburban back yard to help with his allergies. I was so impressed with the idea of learning about keeping bees and harvesting honey I had to get a box of my own. With the help of Ed “the Bee guy”, I got a box of Italian honey bees that we placed at the edge of the trees in our back yard. For the last year I have visited my bees each weekend to check on their activity anticipating the day that we could open their box and see the gift that they have been working on for so many months. I learned that bees can travel 3 miles foraging for pollen and nectar. We have many tallowwood trees and many in our neighborhood have flowering plants and fruit trees. My neighbors see our bees visiting their gardens and know that they are working to pollinate and produce a harvest of honey.
The harvest day was June 20. I have not experienced the excitement and anticipation of this day since I was a little child looking forward to opening Christmas gifts. What would we find after all these months of waiting and watching these little guys do their miraculous work? I did not expect that we could just open the box, pull out the frames, shake off the bees and not be stung or bothered by the bees. We were in shorts and T-shirts with bees flying all around, but no one got stung. We cut the wax caps off the honey frames and let the wax and top layer of honey cells drop into a box. To tear off a piece of honey soaked wax and eat it was a heavenly experience. The taste of fresh warm honey harvested from our own back yard was amazing! With no children at home to share this experience I had to call my neighbor. As a young girl growing up in Iran she had the experience of eating the wax and honey from the harvest. As she took a bite tears filled her eyes remembering her youth. She took out her phone to take a video and share the experience in Farsi with her father back in Iran. Technology is so amazing! We took the screens up to the honey extractor and watched it pour out of the bottom as the screens were spun in the extractor by a small motor. The honey passed through a filter and into a bucket where we filled small bottles with God’s miracle food and love to give to our friends and family.
Expand video to see better.
Next harvest I will be sure to gather the children in the neighborhood and share this experience. To experience the delight of opening the box, cutting off the wax caps, tasting the sweetness and sharing with others is a great privilege. I encourage anyone with even a small back yard to share in this experience with your children, neighbors and friends. Honey never expires and there is nothing sweeter than giving the gift of honey harvested from your own back yard.