WEATHER UPDATE: Yesterday, I found myself staring down a winter weather advisory. I blunk. Blinked? Whatever. We woke up to a heavy, wet layer of snow this morning. Bending trees over a bit. Couple of inches, but the temp is about to get back up above 32 so it is unlikely to pile up to above-rafter-depths. Greg and I are off to medicate the bees and Mom and Dad are relaxing after the brutal first leg of a Many Glacier car-camping-extravaganza.
If you read the best blog on the internet regularly, then you probably see references to Greg or Sanford or possibly even Darling Summer Help (before he split for what I have to assume is still summer in Wisconsin) “pulling honey.” No doubt you shrug and think “well of course they’re pulling honey, they’re beekeepers and pulling honey is obviously a thing that beekeepers do, probably regularly.” Last year I knew exactly what the result of “pulling honey” tended to be: a flatbed truckload of boxes full of frames of honey and a fairly exhausted and hungry Greg. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I learned exactly what pullin’ honey entails, and I thought I’d share with you how it goes (or at least how it goes when I’m around.)
First off, you get up at the cabin around 7am and listen to Natalee finish her preparations for another no-doubt-fascinating-yet-still-to-be-revealed-in-detail day teaching school in Browning. As soon as she is out of the way, you jump out of bed and investigate the coffee pot, hoping as you walk down the hallway that she’s left you at least two cups. If there isn’t enough coffee for a prolonged sit-and-think, you have to either find a way to procrastinate till 8am, or just mosey down to Hillhouse and steal their coffee and try to talk Courtney into cooking some bacon.
Either way, you’re at the Big House at 7:59. You’ll probably sit around for a few minutes. Sip coffee. Check email. Talk about the weather. Yell at Roy. Ask Cain about his plans for the day. Stare blankly back at Buck. Fix a lunch for the day. Delicious Birdman-bread sandwich for you, with mustard and onions and greens and razor-thin-sliced-meat. White Wonderbread, cheese, mayo, and meat for Greg. Doritos. Potato Chips. Sunflower seeds. Cookies. Couple of cokes, or if you’re lucky those amazing throwback-Pepsis with real sugar. Mount up and race Roy up to the Warehouse on a fourwheeler. Tie him to something that he doesn’t realize he could drag if he wanted to.
Fill the 5-gallon water barrel- it is thirsty work. Load the fume boards. Load the pallets. Check the BeeGo. Check the 2-cycle gas. Check the cab for hive tools, bee suits, veils, clips, and .22 ammo. Load the blower. Check the 3 inch elbows for the fumers. Drip pallets today? No, we’re out. Throw the ropes. Lash it all down. Oh we’re taking the 2-ton today too? Load more pallets. Lash ‘em down. Hook up the trailer to the 1-ton. Load on the forklift. Ready to go. WAIT. Never lashed on the water barrel. Okay. Let’s roll.
And then we pull honey. Got it?
Photo credits to Sanford Stone and Nancy Stone, all rights reserved.