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honeyfest at the grovestead

There have been many moments since moving onto this little hobby farm when Rory and I look at each other and say, "everyone should experience this!" Tapping our maple trees for the first time was like this. So the next year we had a tree tapping party. And then last summer we got honey bees and every time Adam, our beekeeper, showed up we were in awe of what he did and what he said. So we decided to host a day where Adam could pass on all the fascinating things he tells us each time he shows up.

These days are a joy to host. I love having so many people out to our place. We invited friends and family we thought would be interested and the turn out was awesome. And it's fun to work with Rory on these events. He's an interesting fella to be married to. He always has these big ideas and then he actually sees that they happen. I'm afraid I fall more in the "let's talk about doing it for the next couple of years..." category. Rory just does it.

So here's a fun fact: In a honeybee colony there are three types of bees: 1) the queen: her job is to lay eggs, eggs, eggs. 2) the worker bees (all worker bees are females who do not lay eggs): their job is to guard the hive, pollinate flowers, make royal jelly, build honey comb, feed larvae, collect nectar to make honey. They will live only 30-40 days and will literally work themselves to death. 3) the male drones: their only job is to be ready to mate with a queen. And when they have done so, they will immediately drop from the sky and die. Bring that up at your next trivia night!

Another amazing fact: bees wax is made inside of the worker bees bodies around the 10th day of their life. The wax comes out through openings in the bees abdomens and then they use their back and middle legs to pass the wax to their front legs at which point they will chew the wax and shape it into wax cells, making the honey comb shape. Did you catch that?!! It comes out of openings in her abdomen! CRAZY!

We had a station set up for kids to get to roll their own bees wax candle to take home. My mom graciously helped each kid at this station. Thanks Mom!

And then we walked down to the hives. Somehow the rain kept holding off. It would sprinkle every once in a while, and then it was as if the rain was having mercy on our little honeyfest and it would stop. 

Adam held up frames for everyone to see crawling with bees.

And then it really did start to least enough that the adults went to the garage and the kids stayed out to play. Adam's wife and my friend, Christina was there with her parents to sell their incredible honey and gorgeous candles. Christina's mom, Jan, is the one who makes the candles and they are stunning. She was telling me how finicky they are to make...the room as to be at the right temperature and humidity level, the pots and molds have to be preheated. It sounds amazing and I begged her to invite me the next time she's making them. And she makes this body bar that is incredible. It is like lotion in a bar of soap and it's great for hydrating dry hands. I loved it.

Elsie was our mascot all day long. I had meant for other kids to get to try this costume on with their parents in the bee keeping gear, but I couldn't get Elsie to take it off once she put it on. So she walked around all morning, our sweet little busy bee happily feeding the chickens.

It was a super fun morning. Adam and Christina, Tom and Jan are awesome, awesome people. You can follow their bee keeping adventures at Honey Patch Apiaries.


annika said...

What a special event! I am sorry we missed it. You and Rory have the gift of hospitality, that's for sure. The candles are lovely. xo

Kristen said...

This looks so fun! And those bee facts just completely blew my mind! Sometimes when I hear about cool nature things like that, it amazes me how creative God must be to come up with some of these things! I love it!!