It seems that lately when I think about blogging, I think of ten other things I have to get done first! There is much to do, but I simply had to write about our recent happenings!
Because we homeschool our kids, we look for activities that include socializing and learning. One of the ways we've been able to incorporate both is through 4H. We've participated for three years and have loved it! Our kids have taken welding and sailing classes and Grayson is taking sewing. It really is a great resource. Last year, a man in our club offered to teach beekeeping. I must be honest. I was completely fascinated and scared all at the same time! I tried my best to talk my kids into signing up, but they were both totally against it. It does sound crazy, but it's great science! This year however, I put my foot down. I told them they were taking it. No options - 'cuz I'm Mom and I say so. I knew after they got over their initial fears, they would have fun and they eventually began to love the idea! No compaints at all.
The morning of their first meeting I had leader's meeting for Bible Study Fellowship, but I arrived home by 9 am. Their meeting was at 10. As I prepared to head out the door, Glen jumped up and said I could stay home and he would take them. Obviously I wasn't staying home! I was going! So we all went. All of the other kids in the class had taken it last year, so they were preparing to have hives of their own. When we were asked, I thought we would just observe and learn, but Glen said, "No, let's get a hive! What better way to learn?" So we began preparing. We looked up boxes and plans and he had full intentions of making a box, however life got busy. Glen is taking two classes this semester, plus he has a full-time job as well as his ministry. He went out of town 3 out of 4 weeks last month and we had a church member who became ill and passed away. Before we knew it, it was time to pick up the bees and we had no box. Glen quickly checked around and found a man 2 1/2 hours away who builds bee boxes. Last Saturday (after an all day class for Glen and Grayson's basketball game) we made a quick trip to pick it up.
We finally arrived at our leader's house to pick up our bees at 9:30 pm. I know they must have been thrilled that we waited until the absolute last minute! When I saw the bees, once again I was amazed at these little creatures! The queen hung inside a box and literally thousands (12,000 - 15,000 to be more precise!) of bees were clustered around her - protecting her. There were even a few on the outside of the box who were focused and hanging on. As our leader placed the bees in our car (yes, inside), Riley jumped out of the car crying, "I hate bees!" It never occured to me that this would be such a major thing! We got him calm enough to get home, but he sat on the edge of his seat the whole way. Just in case he needed to jump out, I guess! I was thinking, "are we crazy?"
After arriving home, the kids and I went inside while Glen dealt with the bees. He did a super job! He borrowed gloves and a hat with a vail from our leader. I duct taped all of the edges of his clothing so bees didn't get in. I wish I had pictures, but it was 10 pm and we were ready to be done! After hanging the queen inside of our new box, he dumped the box of bees in the new bee box and headed inside - but not unscathed. He managed to get stung - though only once, on his calf.
Obviously we knew there would be stings. We've all been stung before, so we knew no one was allergic.....famous last words. Glen woke up Sunday morning with major pain in his calf and it was swollen. Sunday evening he got nauseous and ran a low grade fever. Monday morning he couldn't put any weight on it, so he went to the doctor and was given a round of steroids and anti-biotics to take. Last night, he laid on the couch and just had me rub it for what seemed like forever, because it itches.
I know you're thinking we immediately got rid of the bees. I must confess, I thought that's the way this story would end. It would make since, right? I even talked to the kids and prepared them for it. Obviously if you're allergic to bees, you don't own any! I mean, that's why we don't have a cat, for goodness sake! Last night, I talked to Glen to see what he wants to do. He's not your average guy. "Just wait", he said. Wait? For what? Wait to see how it goes. Don't rush the decision. One non-life threatening allergic reaction doesn't mean you're allergic. Typical Glen. Putting the kids before himself. So we're waiting....
Meanwhile, we're getting attached to the bees - even Riley. Yesterday he called me on his cell phone from across the street. He was so excited, "Mom, our bees are in their garden!!!". I'm not quite sure how he knew they were ours, but I'm glad they're already at work! Glen even mowed the yard in shorts tonight, so I guess he's not afraid to get stung again. Let me just state the obvious by saying if I had been the one to get stung and have that reaction, the bees would be gone! In a New York minute. Just sayin'.