Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Busy as Bees

We have been.....busy as bees. We have been on the run and out and about the past couple of days - field trips!! After our field trip yesterday we truly understand just what that means too!! We spent a lovely fall (yes it seems to be here at last!!) morning in Hazel Green, Alabama with our 4H club learning about beekeeping from a sweet as honey beekeeper and his protege.Our tour began with a lesson on the life of bees and it was nothing less than fascinating. Mr. Dalton and David did a great job of making it make sense, they only just scratched the surface but left us wanting to know much more!! The Principal and I are always looking for potential revenue producing adventures that might be a good fit for our 'life on the farm days' post retirement......this just may be the bees knees ;-) There appears to be some 'sweet' potential ;-)

Have you ever tasted honey right from the hive? David scrapped a bit of wax away and let me have a taste - wow!! That is good stuff let me tell you!!

Next they walked us through the process of extracting the honey from the hives, cleaning the honey by putting it in the 'hot box' to warm the honey and allow any wax and debris (wings, legs, etc.) that might be in the honey to float to the top. The honey is then put into a large vat type apparatus where it is filtered further and ready for bottling. It is a pretty straight forward process the actual processing side of things that is.
The bees themselves are where the mystery, intrigue and fascination comes in. Mr. Dalton told us all about the habits, roles, life cycle and personalities of these amazing little creatures. I couldn't help but make the connection between the bees and the Character Building for Families study that we are doing in our devotional time, specifically the unit on Orderliness - God's hand is so incredibly obvious in the day to day lives of little wonders. After walking us through each step in the processing side of beekeeping we took a short stroll down a picturesque tree lined path to the back end of the property by a pond where the colonies are kept and maintained. David donned his beekeeper garb and showed us how to daze them a little with smoke so that he could get in the hive and show us the inner workings a little. The smoke tends to slow them down and create a 'groggy' state which allows for more ideal conditions in which to go about your bee business.
David was kind enough to pose for a photo to show off what every stylish beekeeper is wearing this fall! Our tour ended on The Dalton's back patio where Mr. Dalton answered questions and told stories while we were treated to Honey Tea and Cookies which Mrs. Dalton aka 'The Boss' was gracious enough to prepare for us - that is true southern hospitality y'all ;-) A sweet man, a beautiful fall day and homemade goodies, us homeschoolers have it made!! The wall hanging on the back porch of the Dalton's home sums it up.....

1 comment:

Calibelle said...

WOW. What a fun learning adventure. Can't wait for Austin to be old enough for 4-H. Great job, Mommy.
BTW...I'm still loving the blog. I need to learn how to separate my pics like you have in this post. Nice.

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