Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

The bees have it

Escape with Eddie


A box of honeybees.

Well, a new box of bees was obtained Saturday. My oh my, they are busy little bees. By the time Donald and I arrived back home and it was time to introduce the bees to their new hive, they were quite agitated. However, by the time Donald got suited up and went out to feed a marshmallow to the queen, and empty the drones into the hive, things were kind of buzzy. When Donald returned to the back deck, he had to sweep honey bees off his suit. Still a few of them thought they would just come into the house for a little exploration. A couple were quite upset, but one was docile and let me take him outside in the palm of my hand.

Bees really get used to the people who take care of them. Then, there are those folks who bees seem to love and they will literally cover the person with their bodies, but will not sting them. It’s quite amazing. I am not ready to find out if I am one of those people. I have a healthy regard for the humble honeybee and I have no wish to cause any ripples in their pond of contentment.

The hive was placed out by our compost area. This is adjacent to the vegetable garden and offers a large variety of pollen and flowers to the discriminating bee. My flower beds are not too far away, so I expect to see some really stellar pollenization. Don noticed our plum trees have a lot of blossoms on them. We are hoping the honeybees will make a difference in this year's crop. I’m already planning the plum jam for Christmas presents.

I never realized how many people are interested in beekeeping. Mann’s, the largest bee supply company in the U.S. is located in Minnesota.

They offer any kind of supply known to the beekeeping community. Some interesting facts about bees add to their reputations. One of the little known facts is that bee stings can alleviate pain from arthritis. Eating honey that is produced in your local area can help your immune system. By far, though, is the wonderful difference a bee hive can make in your garden. Plants will propagate due to your very own bees flitting plant to plant.

One of the other things I have noticed is how much clover grows in the fields around our place. Honeybees love clover. It creates one of the tastiest types of honey. Now I know one hive will not produce gallons of honey, but I do have some ideas for the first batch. I’m going to add minced apricots to the honey. This is a combination I discovered when I bought Honey Acres honey in Wisconsin. It is a delightful combination for adding to your morning hot cereal, such as oatmeal. Most people like sugar on oatmeal, I like jams and apricot honey.

I remember my mother-in-law, Eva, eating honey combs. She grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and loved honey in that form. When my granddaughter, Erica, was little, she liked to eat honey combs with Eva. The two of them would smear it on toast and lick their lips. I mean, really, who doesn’t love honey?

As I wrote two weeks ago, our first batch of bees arrived on April 17, along with high winds and a drop in temperature. Naturally, they did not survive. This batch, there are about 3,000 to 3,500 of them out and about scouting for the best sites for nectar. What a difference two weeks can make.

Last evening, I was putting the final touches on two large batches of baked beans. As I added a significant amount of honey, along with maple syrup, brown sugar, cane syrup, and dry mustard, I realized that soon, one of these batches of beans I’ll be adding our own honey. The secret to really awesome baked beans is a blend of these different types of liquid flavor. I order my cane syrup from a Louisiana company, Steen’s Cane Syrup. Oh yes, I produced two quarts and 13 pints of Boston baked beans. Scrumptious!


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