Beekeeping Trivia

Telling-the-bees-hans-thomaPat here with your daily dose of fascinating but useless history trivia—on beekeeping. As a gardener, I’m painfully aware of modern problems in keeping bees alive. At the moment, we’re nurturing an avocado tree with weird fruiting habits that require lots of bees at just the right time, and we’re not having much success. Historically, farmers didn’t grow plants requiring that much fuss, but they did need bees to improve their crops, even if they didn’t know it. Mostly, though, our ancestors saw bees as a means to fill their coffers.

Beekeeping was well established as a process well before the Romans invaded Britain way back in AD 43. Domesticated beekeeping had been around in Egypt and China a few thousand years 512px-Bee_holeearlier. We don’t know exactly what early Britains knew, although they undoubtedly knew how to use hollowed-out tree stumps and fallen logs. The Romans understood how to use more sophisticated methods like beehives, honeypots, and how to smoke bees to calm them.

Although we have early examples of skeps to house a hive, it wasn’t until the medieval era that we have complete texts explaining these more “modern” techniques. There is a 10th century book called Geoponika that shows people had been studying bee habits for a long time. They recognized that Skep andhackle-DU-Bienenmuseum-Urzeitbienenkörbebees had leaders (although, of course, they called them kings) and different activities.  It describes hives with ventilation made of particular woods and size. It recommends honey and wine for young bees and barley cakes in winter. The detailed instructions are amazing—because honey and wax production were extremely profitable and worth studying.

By the 17th and 18th centuries, the skep, or basket hive, had become traditional. Basically a baked clay pot or ring of straw for the bees to attach the honeycomb to, it was protected in winter by conical wood hackles. In spring, they’d remove the hackle and smoke out or drown the colony to recover the honey. That honey, along with the beeswax, was often traded for rent to landlords or tithes to the church.

But smoking and drowning killed the colony! Apparently there were enough bees around at the time that they didn’t worry too much about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Rice_EntrancingtheEarl_600x900But, of course, my psychic beekeeper in ENTRANCING THE EARL cannot bear to kill her bees, because she talks to them, and they talk back. “Telling the bees” is an old European tradition where a member of the household reports births, marriages, and deaths to the hives, presumably reassuring the bees that all will go on as before, so they don’t quit producing honey or die. It’s Telling-the-bees-2theorized this practice comes from Celtic mythology about bees being the link between our world and the spirit world, which of course fits right in with my druidic Malcolms.

So my heroine is desperate to learn about the new hives invented by the American Reverend L. L. Langstroth that allow her to save the bees. She’s read a pamphlet and worked out how to carry her queen with her when she runs away from the stepfather who wants to sell her title with marriage, but she wants to build a hive she 512px-Reaumur_'Memoires...' _bee-hives_Wellcome_L0015375doesn’t have to burn. Langstroth’s system of boxes were made to unique specifications that kept the honeycomb accessible and allowed the excess honey to flow into a separate box. It is the same basic system used today, but it was almost unknown at the time of my story. So once my heroine finds my hero, who has access to libraries where she might find Langstroth’s book, she burrows in—like a queen bee in a hollow log. <G> The fact that he’s allergic to her bees is totally irrelevant, right?

More detailed history about the Langstroth Hive and about bees.

And our Anne did a lovely, more detailed post about bees and her childhood.

How do you feel about bees? Are you allergic like my hero? As a child, I was terrified of them, but now I study anything I put on my garden to be certain it doesn’t harm bees. With so much conflicting information, it isn’t easy!

 

170 thoughts on “Beekeeping Trivia”

  1. I love “fascinating but useless” history trivia. I had never heard of “telling the bees.” Your book sounds really interesting.
    I stepped on a bee while playing barefoot in the grass as a child and got a really painful sting. Put me off bees for a long time. They don’t bother me now though. I have a lot of them around my house – they like my flowers. Wasps and hornets still scare me but I’ve found that if I just sit still, they won’t hurt me. I found it interesting that when we had the eclipse a few years ago, a bee on one of my flower pots was the only creature still going about his business.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  2. I love “fascinating but useless” history trivia. I had never heard of “telling the bees.” Your book sounds really interesting.
    I stepped on a bee while playing barefoot in the grass as a child and got a really painful sting. Put me off bees for a long time. They don’t bother me now though. I have a lot of them around my house – they like my flowers. Wasps and hornets still scare me but I’ve found that if I just sit still, they won’t hurt me. I found it interesting that when we had the eclipse a few years ago, a bee on one of my flower pots was the only creature still going about his business.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  3. I love “fascinating but useless” history trivia. I had never heard of “telling the bees.” Your book sounds really interesting.
    I stepped on a bee while playing barefoot in the grass as a child and got a really painful sting. Put me off bees for a long time. They don’t bother me now though. I have a lot of them around my house – they like my flowers. Wasps and hornets still scare me but I’ve found that if I just sit still, they won’t hurt me. I found it interesting that when we had the eclipse a few years ago, a bee on one of my flower pots was the only creature still going about his business.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  4. I love “fascinating but useless” history trivia. I had never heard of “telling the bees.” Your book sounds really interesting.
    I stepped on a bee while playing barefoot in the grass as a child and got a really painful sting. Put me off bees for a long time. They don’t bother me now though. I have a lot of them around my house – they like my flowers. Wasps and hornets still scare me but I’ve found that if I just sit still, they won’t hurt me. I found it interesting that when we had the eclipse a few years ago, a bee on one of my flower pots was the only creature still going about his business.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  5. I love “fascinating but useless” history trivia. I had never heard of “telling the bees.” Your book sounds really interesting.
    I stepped on a bee while playing barefoot in the grass as a child and got a really painful sting. Put me off bees for a long time. They don’t bother me now though. I have a lot of them around my house – they like my flowers. Wasps and hornets still scare me but I’ve found that if I just sit still, they won’t hurt me. I found it interesting that when we had the eclipse a few years ago, a bee on one of my flower pots was the only creature still going about his business.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  6. If you’d like a tidbit of multicultural beekeeping trivia: bees are also special in traditional Bosnian village culture, and are thought to know things similar to the telling of the bees. In the Bosnian language, “to die” is umreti for people, and krepati for all animals, except bees. When talking about bees dying you use umreti not krepati; this may seem like splitting hairs to the non-speaker but it conveys a lot about the significance of bees to the culture.

    Reply
  7. If you’d like a tidbit of multicultural beekeeping trivia: bees are also special in traditional Bosnian village culture, and are thought to know things similar to the telling of the bees. In the Bosnian language, “to die” is umreti for people, and krepati for all animals, except bees. When talking about bees dying you use umreti not krepati; this may seem like splitting hairs to the non-speaker but it conveys a lot about the significance of bees to the culture.

    Reply
  8. If you’d like a tidbit of multicultural beekeeping trivia: bees are also special in traditional Bosnian village culture, and are thought to know things similar to the telling of the bees. In the Bosnian language, “to die” is umreti for people, and krepati for all animals, except bees. When talking about bees dying you use umreti not krepati; this may seem like splitting hairs to the non-speaker but it conveys a lot about the significance of bees to the culture.

    Reply
  9. If you’d like a tidbit of multicultural beekeeping trivia: bees are also special in traditional Bosnian village culture, and are thought to know things similar to the telling of the bees. In the Bosnian language, “to die” is umreti for people, and krepati for all animals, except bees. When talking about bees dying you use umreti not krepati; this may seem like splitting hairs to the non-speaker but it conveys a lot about the significance of bees to the culture.

    Reply
  10. If you’d like a tidbit of multicultural beekeeping trivia: bees are also special in traditional Bosnian village culture, and are thought to know things similar to the telling of the bees. In the Bosnian language, “to die” is umreti for people, and krepati for all animals, except bees. When talking about bees dying you use umreti not krepati; this may seem like splitting hairs to the non-speaker but it conveys a lot about the significance of bees to the culture.

    Reply
  11. Great post. I had no idea that, before the mid 19th century, the hives would be destroyed, with the bees inside. How sad. Glad that has been rectified.
    I never cared much for honey, but the only honey I was exposed to was clover honey. Then I found a small company, owned by the beekeeper, that sells honey, each from a different flower or two, and seasonal. An eye, or I should say, a taste-bud opener. Wow, what a difference and such fun to taste them all. One even had the flavor of mint, as that was one of the flowers the bees used for that honey.

    Reply
  12. Great post. I had no idea that, before the mid 19th century, the hives would be destroyed, with the bees inside. How sad. Glad that has been rectified.
    I never cared much for honey, but the only honey I was exposed to was clover honey. Then I found a small company, owned by the beekeeper, that sells honey, each from a different flower or two, and seasonal. An eye, or I should say, a taste-bud opener. Wow, what a difference and such fun to taste them all. One even had the flavor of mint, as that was one of the flowers the bees used for that honey.

    Reply
  13. Great post. I had no idea that, before the mid 19th century, the hives would be destroyed, with the bees inside. How sad. Glad that has been rectified.
    I never cared much for honey, but the only honey I was exposed to was clover honey. Then I found a small company, owned by the beekeeper, that sells honey, each from a different flower or two, and seasonal. An eye, or I should say, a taste-bud opener. Wow, what a difference and such fun to taste them all. One even had the flavor of mint, as that was one of the flowers the bees used for that honey.

    Reply
  14. Great post. I had no idea that, before the mid 19th century, the hives would be destroyed, with the bees inside. How sad. Glad that has been rectified.
    I never cared much for honey, but the only honey I was exposed to was clover honey. Then I found a small company, owned by the beekeeper, that sells honey, each from a different flower or two, and seasonal. An eye, or I should say, a taste-bud opener. Wow, what a difference and such fun to taste them all. One even had the flavor of mint, as that was one of the flowers the bees used for that honey.

    Reply
  15. Great post. I had no idea that, before the mid 19th century, the hives would be destroyed, with the bees inside. How sad. Glad that has been rectified.
    I never cared much for honey, but the only honey I was exposed to was clover honey. Then I found a small company, owned by the beekeeper, that sells honey, each from a different flower or two, and seasonal. An eye, or I should say, a taste-bud opener. Wow, what a difference and such fun to taste them all. One even had the flavor of mint, as that was one of the flowers the bees used for that honey.

    Reply
  16. Fascinating trivia! All those busy little bees are such useful, even vital, creatures. However, I am not fond of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets. Last time I got stung by a wasp, my hand blew up to twice its size, so I’m very cautious around them these days.
    There was a wasp? hornet? (I’m never sure which is which or if that’s a necessary distinction) nest in the tree by our back door. We didn’t know it was there, although we saw the residents frequently, until the leaves fell and exposed it. It was frighteningly big—beachball size. And when winter storms knocked it down, I was amazed to see how flimsy it was.

    Reply
  17. Fascinating trivia! All those busy little bees are such useful, even vital, creatures. However, I am not fond of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets. Last time I got stung by a wasp, my hand blew up to twice its size, so I’m very cautious around them these days.
    There was a wasp? hornet? (I’m never sure which is which or if that’s a necessary distinction) nest in the tree by our back door. We didn’t know it was there, although we saw the residents frequently, until the leaves fell and exposed it. It was frighteningly big—beachball size. And when winter storms knocked it down, I was amazed to see how flimsy it was.

    Reply
  18. Fascinating trivia! All those busy little bees are such useful, even vital, creatures. However, I am not fond of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets. Last time I got stung by a wasp, my hand blew up to twice its size, so I’m very cautious around them these days.
    There was a wasp? hornet? (I’m never sure which is which or if that’s a necessary distinction) nest in the tree by our back door. We didn’t know it was there, although we saw the residents frequently, until the leaves fell and exposed it. It was frighteningly big—beachball size. And when winter storms knocked it down, I was amazed to see how flimsy it was.

    Reply
  19. Fascinating trivia! All those busy little bees are such useful, even vital, creatures. However, I am not fond of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets. Last time I got stung by a wasp, my hand blew up to twice its size, so I’m very cautious around them these days.
    There was a wasp? hornet? (I’m never sure which is which or if that’s a necessary distinction) nest in the tree by our back door. We didn’t know it was there, although we saw the residents frequently, until the leaves fell and exposed it. It was frighteningly big—beachball size. And when winter storms knocked it down, I was amazed to see how flimsy it was.

    Reply
  20. Fascinating trivia! All those busy little bees are such useful, even vital, creatures. However, I am not fond of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets. Last time I got stung by a wasp, my hand blew up to twice its size, so I’m very cautious around them these days.
    There was a wasp? hornet? (I’m never sure which is which or if that’s a necessary distinction) nest in the tree by our back door. We didn’t know it was there, although we saw the residents frequently, until the leaves fell and exposed it. It was frighteningly big—beachball size. And when winter storms knocked it down, I was amazed to see how flimsy it was.

    Reply
  21. I recently enjoyed ENTRANCING THE EARL. Thanks, Patricia.
    My oldest son kept a couple of hives back in the 60’s. We lived in a house where there were several citrus trees and lots of other great greenery. We all enjoyed the honey and learned a lot about beekeeping. When we moved and took the bees with us many neighbors complained about bees in their swimming pools, so he had to give them away to someone who wasn’t in a neighborhood with so many pools.

    Reply
  22. I recently enjoyed ENTRANCING THE EARL. Thanks, Patricia.
    My oldest son kept a couple of hives back in the 60’s. We lived in a house where there were several citrus trees and lots of other great greenery. We all enjoyed the honey and learned a lot about beekeeping. When we moved and took the bees with us many neighbors complained about bees in their swimming pools, so he had to give them away to someone who wasn’t in a neighborhood with so many pools.

    Reply
  23. I recently enjoyed ENTRANCING THE EARL. Thanks, Patricia.
    My oldest son kept a couple of hives back in the 60’s. We lived in a house where there were several citrus trees and lots of other great greenery. We all enjoyed the honey and learned a lot about beekeeping. When we moved and took the bees with us many neighbors complained about bees in their swimming pools, so he had to give them away to someone who wasn’t in a neighborhood with so many pools.

    Reply
  24. I recently enjoyed ENTRANCING THE EARL. Thanks, Patricia.
    My oldest son kept a couple of hives back in the 60’s. We lived in a house where there were several citrus trees and lots of other great greenery. We all enjoyed the honey and learned a lot about beekeeping. When we moved and took the bees with us many neighbors complained about bees in their swimming pools, so he had to give them away to someone who wasn’t in a neighborhood with so many pools.

    Reply
  25. I recently enjoyed ENTRANCING THE EARL. Thanks, Patricia.
    My oldest son kept a couple of hives back in the 60’s. We lived in a house where there were several citrus trees and lots of other great greenery. We all enjoyed the honey and learned a lot about beekeeping. When we moved and took the bees with us many neighbors complained about bees in their swimming pools, so he had to give them away to someone who wasn’t in a neighborhood with so many pools.

    Reply
  26. Thanks for an educational post, Pat; I learn so many nifty things here from the posts and the comments.
    Interestingly, my prior knowledge of beekeeping came from a depression era historical romance — Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer.

    Reply
  27. Thanks for an educational post, Pat; I learn so many nifty things here from the posts and the comments.
    Interestingly, my prior knowledge of beekeeping came from a depression era historical romance — Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer.

    Reply
  28. Thanks for an educational post, Pat; I learn so many nifty things here from the posts and the comments.
    Interestingly, my prior knowledge of beekeeping came from a depression era historical romance — Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer.

    Reply
  29. Thanks for an educational post, Pat; I learn so many nifty things here from the posts and the comments.
    Interestingly, my prior knowledge of beekeeping came from a depression era historical romance — Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer.

    Reply
  30. Thanks for an educational post, Pat; I learn so many nifty things here from the posts and the comments.
    Interestingly, my prior knowledge of beekeeping came from a depression era historical romance — Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer.

    Reply
  31. I always enjoy reading about bee culture. I have mostly learned about it in romances rather than in factual treatises, but I have enjoyed both. Thanks for adding to this knowledge, both here and in Entrancing the Earl, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Reply
  32. I always enjoy reading about bee culture. I have mostly learned about it in romances rather than in factual treatises, but I have enjoyed both. Thanks for adding to this knowledge, both here and in Entrancing the Earl, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Reply
  33. I always enjoy reading about bee culture. I have mostly learned about it in romances rather than in factual treatises, but I have enjoyed both. Thanks for adding to this knowledge, both here and in Entrancing the Earl, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Reply
  34. I always enjoy reading about bee culture. I have mostly learned about it in romances rather than in factual treatises, but I have enjoyed both. Thanks for adding to this knowledge, both here and in Entrancing the Earl, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Reply
  35. I always enjoy reading about bee culture. I have mostly learned about it in romances rather than in factual treatises, but I have enjoyed both. Thanks for adding to this knowledge, both here and in Entrancing the Earl, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Reply
  36. a honey tasting! The stuff in stores is bland compared to the real thing, isn’t it?
    Historically, beekeepers could have just smoked out the bees, but they wanted all parts of the hive and those skeps just didn’t allow for that.

    Reply
  37. a honey tasting! The stuff in stores is bland compared to the real thing, isn’t it?
    Historically, beekeepers could have just smoked out the bees, but they wanted all parts of the hive and those skeps just didn’t allow for that.

    Reply
  38. a honey tasting! The stuff in stores is bland compared to the real thing, isn’t it?
    Historically, beekeepers could have just smoked out the bees, but they wanted all parts of the hive and those skeps just didn’t allow for that.

    Reply
  39. a honey tasting! The stuff in stores is bland compared to the real thing, isn’t it?
    Historically, beekeepers could have just smoked out the bees, but they wanted all parts of the hive and those skeps just didn’t allow for that.

    Reply
  40. a honey tasting! The stuff in stores is bland compared to the real thing, isn’t it?
    Historically, beekeepers could have just smoked out the bees, but they wanted all parts of the hive and those skeps just didn’t allow for that.

    Reply
  41. oh ouch on the swollen hand. That does sound like an allergic reaction unless you were stung multiple times. Best to avoid the little buggers. The nests are fascinating but I’d rather not have one in my yard.

    Reply
  42. oh ouch on the swollen hand. That does sound like an allergic reaction unless you were stung multiple times. Best to avoid the little buggers. The nests are fascinating but I’d rather not have one in my yard.

    Reply
  43. oh ouch on the swollen hand. That does sound like an allergic reaction unless you were stung multiple times. Best to avoid the little buggers. The nests are fascinating but I’d rather not have one in my yard.

    Reply
  44. oh ouch on the swollen hand. That does sound like an allergic reaction unless you were stung multiple times. Best to avoid the little buggers. The nests are fascinating but I’d rather not have one in my yard.

    Reply
  45. oh ouch on the swollen hand. That does sound like an allergic reaction unless you were stung multiple times. Best to avoid the little buggers. The nests are fascinating but I’d rather not have one in my yard.

    Reply
  46. Diana Gabaldon’s newest Outlander book is coming out in November and is named, “Tell the Bees that I am gone.” It fits in well with Celtic connection, since the hero is a highlander.

    Reply
  47. Diana Gabaldon’s newest Outlander book is coming out in November and is named, “Tell the Bees that I am gone.” It fits in well with Celtic connection, since the hero is a highlander.

    Reply
  48. Diana Gabaldon’s newest Outlander book is coming out in November and is named, “Tell the Bees that I am gone.” It fits in well with Celtic connection, since the hero is a highlander.

    Reply
  49. Diana Gabaldon’s newest Outlander book is coming out in November and is named, “Tell the Bees that I am gone.” It fits in well with Celtic connection, since the hero is a highlander.

    Reply
  50. Diana Gabaldon’s newest Outlander book is coming out in November and is named, “Tell the Bees that I am gone.” It fits in well with Celtic connection, since the hero is a highlander.

    Reply
  51. Another good article about beekeeping. I like the idea of “Telling the bees” and how important they are. I grew up with limited electricity so learned early on how to make bees wax candles. My Oma treated all ailments with a spoonful of honey.
    I have friends who bought property just south of where we live and they keep bees there. They encourage only native plants which the bees pollinate. The honey they make is wonderful and I am so lucky to be considered a good friend and am well supplied with honey. Sadly the bee population here is very low – I have various types of wasps and bees but few honeybees. We do have orchards which have their own hives. I do not know how they are doing.

    Reply
  52. Another good article about beekeeping. I like the idea of “Telling the bees” and how important they are. I grew up with limited electricity so learned early on how to make bees wax candles. My Oma treated all ailments with a spoonful of honey.
    I have friends who bought property just south of where we live and they keep bees there. They encourage only native plants which the bees pollinate. The honey they make is wonderful and I am so lucky to be considered a good friend and am well supplied with honey. Sadly the bee population here is very low – I have various types of wasps and bees but few honeybees. We do have orchards which have their own hives. I do not know how they are doing.

    Reply
  53. Another good article about beekeeping. I like the idea of “Telling the bees” and how important they are. I grew up with limited electricity so learned early on how to make bees wax candles. My Oma treated all ailments with a spoonful of honey.
    I have friends who bought property just south of where we live and they keep bees there. They encourage only native plants which the bees pollinate. The honey they make is wonderful and I am so lucky to be considered a good friend and am well supplied with honey. Sadly the bee population here is very low – I have various types of wasps and bees but few honeybees. We do have orchards which have their own hives. I do not know how they are doing.

    Reply
  54. Another good article about beekeeping. I like the idea of “Telling the bees” and how important they are. I grew up with limited electricity so learned early on how to make bees wax candles. My Oma treated all ailments with a spoonful of honey.
    I have friends who bought property just south of where we live and they keep bees there. They encourage only native plants which the bees pollinate. The honey they make is wonderful and I am so lucky to be considered a good friend and am well supplied with honey. Sadly the bee population here is very low – I have various types of wasps and bees but few honeybees. We do have orchards which have their own hives. I do not know how they are doing.

    Reply
  55. Another good article about beekeeping. I like the idea of “Telling the bees” and how important they are. I grew up with limited electricity so learned early on how to make bees wax candles. My Oma treated all ailments with a spoonful of honey.
    I have friends who bought property just south of where we live and they keep bees there. They encourage only native plants which the bees pollinate. The honey they make is wonderful and I am so lucky to be considered a good friend and am well supplied with honey. Sadly the bee population here is very low – I have various types of wasps and bees but few honeybees. We do have orchards which have their own hives. I do not know how they are doing.

    Reply
  56. I love bees. They make flowers grow. I had a lime tree and they made sure I had limes. In short, I am a fan of bees. And I can understand speaking to them. I talk to my plants. I talk to my dog. And I know that bees are probably very good listeners.
    Hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  57. I love bees. They make flowers grow. I had a lime tree and they made sure I had limes. In short, I am a fan of bees. And I can understand speaking to them. I talk to my plants. I talk to my dog. And I know that bees are probably very good listeners.
    Hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  58. I love bees. They make flowers grow. I had a lime tree and they made sure I had limes. In short, I am a fan of bees. And I can understand speaking to them. I talk to my plants. I talk to my dog. And I know that bees are probably very good listeners.
    Hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  59. I love bees. They make flowers grow. I had a lime tree and they made sure I had limes. In short, I am a fan of bees. And I can understand speaking to them. I talk to my plants. I talk to my dog. And I know that bees are probably very good listeners.
    Hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  60. I love bees. They make flowers grow. I had a lime tree and they made sure I had limes. In short, I am a fan of bees. And I can understand speaking to them. I talk to my plants. I talk to my dog. And I know that bees are probably very good listeners.
    Hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  61. Mary, I was brought up with “telling the bees” and when my dad died, I told his hives, and explained that I was taking them over now. Same when Mum died. And when there are children born into the family, or weddings etc.
    In one of my books, my heroine used to talk to the bees about her troubles. It’s what you do when you’re brought up with bees

    Reply
  62. Mary, I was brought up with “telling the bees” and when my dad died, I told his hives, and explained that I was taking them over now. Same when Mum died. And when there are children born into the family, or weddings etc.
    In one of my books, my heroine used to talk to the bees about her troubles. It’s what you do when you’re brought up with bees

    Reply
  63. Mary, I was brought up with “telling the bees” and when my dad died, I told his hives, and explained that I was taking them over now. Same when Mum died. And when there are children born into the family, or weddings etc.
    In one of my books, my heroine used to talk to the bees about her troubles. It’s what you do when you’re brought up with bees

    Reply
  64. Mary, I was brought up with “telling the bees” and when my dad died, I told his hives, and explained that I was taking them over now. Same when Mum died. And when there are children born into the family, or weddings etc.
    In one of my books, my heroine used to talk to the bees about her troubles. It’s what you do when you’re brought up with bees

    Reply
  65. Mary, I was brought up with “telling the bees” and when my dad died, I told his hives, and explained that I was taking them over now. Same when Mum died. And when there are children born into the family, or weddings etc.
    In one of my books, my heroine used to talk to the bees about her troubles. It’s what you do when you’re brought up with bees

    Reply
  66. One day I think beekeepers will describe their various honeys the way winemakers do today. My grandpa’s honey had a beautiful thyme flavour because he had big patches of thyme in the garden. My dad’s honey had many garden flowers and an underlying base note of ti-tree, which is delicious and very healthy.

    Reply
  67. One day I think beekeepers will describe their various honeys the way winemakers do today. My grandpa’s honey had a beautiful thyme flavour because he had big patches of thyme in the garden. My dad’s honey had many garden flowers and an underlying base note of ti-tree, which is delicious and very healthy.

    Reply
  68. One day I think beekeepers will describe their various honeys the way winemakers do today. My grandpa’s honey had a beautiful thyme flavour because he had big patches of thyme in the garden. My dad’s honey had many garden flowers and an underlying base note of ti-tree, which is delicious and very healthy.

    Reply
  69. One day I think beekeepers will describe their various honeys the way winemakers do today. My grandpa’s honey had a beautiful thyme flavour because he had big patches of thyme in the garden. My dad’s honey had many garden flowers and an underlying base note of ti-tree, which is delicious and very healthy.

    Reply
  70. One day I think beekeepers will describe their various honeys the way winemakers do today. My grandpa’s honey had a beautiful thyme flavour because he had big patches of thyme in the garden. My dad’s honey had many garden flowers and an underlying base note of ti-tree, which is delicious and very healthy.

    Reply
  71. I wonder why honey sellers aren’t doing this already. Or maybe there’s just not enough production of specific kinds to sell bottles of “thyme honey, vintage 2020.” But it would be fun if they did!

    Reply
  72. I wonder why honey sellers aren’t doing this already. Or maybe there’s just not enough production of specific kinds to sell bottles of “thyme honey, vintage 2020.” But it would be fun if they did!

    Reply
  73. I wonder why honey sellers aren’t doing this already. Or maybe there’s just not enough production of specific kinds to sell bottles of “thyme honey, vintage 2020.” But it would be fun if they did!

    Reply
  74. I wonder why honey sellers aren’t doing this already. Or maybe there’s just not enough production of specific kinds to sell bottles of “thyme honey, vintage 2020.” But it would be fun if they did!

    Reply
  75. I wonder why honey sellers aren’t doing this already. Or maybe there’s just not enough production of specific kinds to sell bottles of “thyme honey, vintage 2020.” But it would be fun if they did!

    Reply
  76. Modern agriculture may have benefits, but not to our bees. We have to find more natural ways of keeping out unwanted insects and weeds and welcoming the good ones. It’s not easy and I pity the poor farmers struggling with both sides of this problem.

    Reply
  77. Modern agriculture may have benefits, but not to our bees. We have to find more natural ways of keeping out unwanted insects and weeds and welcoming the good ones. It’s not easy and I pity the poor farmers struggling with both sides of this problem.

    Reply
  78. Modern agriculture may have benefits, but not to our bees. We have to find more natural ways of keeping out unwanted insects and weeds and welcoming the good ones. It’s not easy and I pity the poor farmers struggling with both sides of this problem.

    Reply
  79. Modern agriculture may have benefits, but not to our bees. We have to find more natural ways of keeping out unwanted insects and weeds and welcoming the good ones. It’s not easy and I pity the poor farmers struggling with both sides of this problem.

    Reply
  80. Modern agriculture may have benefits, but not to our bees. We have to find more natural ways of keeping out unwanted insects and weeds and welcoming the good ones. It’s not easy and I pity the poor farmers struggling with both sides of this problem.

    Reply
  81. I don’t know if it’s just here in Ireland but it’s National Bee week. How coincidental that your post is about them today! I like bees and I’m trying to grow things to encourage them into the garden because they are so scarce. We have a hedge on either side of our driveway and in Spring and Summer you can actually hear it humming there are so many bees in it.
    I love these type of posts. Love learning trivia!

    Reply
  82. I don’t know if it’s just here in Ireland but it’s National Bee week. How coincidental that your post is about them today! I like bees and I’m trying to grow things to encourage them into the garden because they are so scarce. We have a hedge on either side of our driveway and in Spring and Summer you can actually hear it humming there are so many bees in it.
    I love these type of posts. Love learning trivia!

    Reply
  83. I don’t know if it’s just here in Ireland but it’s National Bee week. How coincidental that your post is about them today! I like bees and I’m trying to grow things to encourage them into the garden because they are so scarce. We have a hedge on either side of our driveway and in Spring and Summer you can actually hear it humming there are so many bees in it.
    I love these type of posts. Love learning trivia!

    Reply
  84. I don’t know if it’s just here in Ireland but it’s National Bee week. How coincidental that your post is about them today! I like bees and I’m trying to grow things to encourage them into the garden because they are so scarce. We have a hedge on either side of our driveway and in Spring and Summer you can actually hear it humming there are so many bees in it.
    I love these type of posts. Love learning trivia!

    Reply
  85. I don’t know if it’s just here in Ireland but it’s National Bee week. How coincidental that your post is about them today! I like bees and I’m trying to grow things to encourage them into the garden because they are so scarce. We have a hedge on either side of our driveway and in Spring and Summer you can actually hear it humming there are so many bees in it.
    I love these type of posts. Love learning trivia!

    Reply
  86. They do sell really specific kinds of honey, Pat — usually related to the main species of flower — for instance clover honey, or yellow-gum honey or Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, but they don’t have a language to describe the tastes the way winemakers and wine tasters have.
    The NZers have made “Manuka honey” famous which is ti-tree honey with the NZ name for it on the label.
    My mum used to label their honey with things like “Copper hive” and the year. It always sounded so exotic — a copper beehive — but really it was just that it was from the hive sitting on top of the old copper.

    Reply
  87. They do sell really specific kinds of honey, Pat — usually related to the main species of flower — for instance clover honey, or yellow-gum honey or Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, but they don’t have a language to describe the tastes the way winemakers and wine tasters have.
    The NZers have made “Manuka honey” famous which is ti-tree honey with the NZ name for it on the label.
    My mum used to label their honey with things like “Copper hive” and the year. It always sounded so exotic — a copper beehive — but really it was just that it was from the hive sitting on top of the old copper.

    Reply
  88. They do sell really specific kinds of honey, Pat — usually related to the main species of flower — for instance clover honey, or yellow-gum honey or Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, but they don’t have a language to describe the tastes the way winemakers and wine tasters have.
    The NZers have made “Manuka honey” famous which is ti-tree honey with the NZ name for it on the label.
    My mum used to label their honey with things like “Copper hive” and the year. It always sounded so exotic — a copper beehive — but really it was just that it was from the hive sitting on top of the old copper.

    Reply
  89. They do sell really specific kinds of honey, Pat — usually related to the main species of flower — for instance clover honey, or yellow-gum honey or Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, but they don’t have a language to describe the tastes the way winemakers and wine tasters have.
    The NZers have made “Manuka honey” famous which is ti-tree honey with the NZ name for it on the label.
    My mum used to label their honey with things like “Copper hive” and the year. It always sounded so exotic — a copper beehive — but really it was just that it was from the hive sitting on top of the old copper.

    Reply
  90. They do sell really specific kinds of honey, Pat — usually related to the main species of flower — for instance clover honey, or yellow-gum honey or Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, but they don’t have a language to describe the tastes the way winemakers and wine tasters have.
    The NZers have made “Manuka honey” famous which is ti-tree honey with the NZ name for it on the label.
    My mum used to label their honey with things like “Copper hive” and the year. It always sounded so exotic — a copper beehive — but really it was just that it was from the hive sitting on top of the old copper.

    Reply
  91. sigh, typepad rejected my email reply. I should think “clover” honey or “Ti=tree” honey would be explanatory enough, but silly descriptions like “sour like green apples” wouldn’t hurt.

    Reply
  92. sigh, typepad rejected my email reply. I should think “clover” honey or “Ti=tree” honey would be explanatory enough, but silly descriptions like “sour like green apples” wouldn’t hurt.

    Reply
  93. sigh, typepad rejected my email reply. I should think “clover” honey or “Ti=tree” honey would be explanatory enough, but silly descriptions like “sour like green apples” wouldn’t hurt.

    Reply
  94. sigh, typepad rejected my email reply. I should think “clover” honey or “Ti=tree” honey would be explanatory enough, but silly descriptions like “sour like green apples” wouldn’t hurt.

    Reply
  95. sigh, typepad rejected my email reply. I should think “clover” honey or “Ti=tree” honey would be explanatory enough, but silly descriptions like “sour like green apples” wouldn’t hurt.

    Reply
  96. Thank you for this. I’m a beekeeper, so I’m allways happy to hear someone talk nicely about my favorite creatures! I read through the links, and the one about catching a swarm wearing lace curtains and using a dog can as a smoker made me smile. 🙂
    I’m so glad my friend Lynne shared this with me.

    Reply
  97. Thank you for this. I’m a beekeeper, so I’m allways happy to hear someone talk nicely about my favorite creatures! I read through the links, and the one about catching a swarm wearing lace curtains and using a dog can as a smoker made me smile. 🙂
    I’m so glad my friend Lynne shared this with me.

    Reply
  98. Thank you for this. I’m a beekeeper, so I’m allways happy to hear someone talk nicely about my favorite creatures! I read through the links, and the one about catching a swarm wearing lace curtains and using a dog can as a smoker made me smile. 🙂
    I’m so glad my friend Lynne shared this with me.

    Reply
  99. Thank you for this. I’m a beekeeper, so I’m allways happy to hear someone talk nicely about my favorite creatures! I read through the links, and the one about catching a swarm wearing lace curtains and using a dog can as a smoker made me smile. 🙂
    I’m so glad my friend Lynne shared this with me.

    Reply
  100. Thank you for this. I’m a beekeeper, so I’m allways happy to hear someone talk nicely about my favorite creatures! I read through the links, and the one about catching a swarm wearing lace curtains and using a dog can as a smoker made me smile. 🙂
    I’m so glad my friend Lynne shared this with me.

    Reply
  101. Yemen has the kind of honey stores you are talking about. Honey, in dozens of varieties, is the only thing they sell, and they offer taste samples so you can choose the type you want to buy. Yemen is famous for their honey, but it’s quite expensive and rarely found outside the country.

    Reply
  102. Yemen has the kind of honey stores you are talking about. Honey, in dozens of varieties, is the only thing they sell, and they offer taste samples so you can choose the type you want to buy. Yemen is famous for their honey, but it’s quite expensive and rarely found outside the country.

    Reply
  103. Yemen has the kind of honey stores you are talking about. Honey, in dozens of varieties, is the only thing they sell, and they offer taste samples so you can choose the type you want to buy. Yemen is famous for their honey, but it’s quite expensive and rarely found outside the country.

    Reply
  104. Yemen has the kind of honey stores you are talking about. Honey, in dozens of varieties, is the only thing they sell, and they offer taste samples so you can choose the type you want to buy. Yemen is famous for their honey, but it’s quite expensive and rarely found outside the country.

    Reply
  105. Yemen has the kind of honey stores you are talking about. Honey, in dozens of varieties, is the only thing they sell, and they offer taste samples so you can choose the type you want to buy. Yemen is famous for their honey, but it’s quite expensive and rarely found outside the country.

    Reply

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