Monday, May 1, 2017

once upon a sting---don't play with bees!!!!

By the time I was twelve, I had mastered the task of cleaning and feeding the chickens, mucking out the rabbits and feeding, as well as watering them and tending the vegedable garden. My grandfather said at the beginning of the Easter holidays, he would start showing me how to look after the bees. This he told me in the kitchen---on my last day at school just before the holidays. My nan, who was sitting in her rocking chair in the corner, looked up and said "you should teach young Jim to do better than you taught his Uncle Jim at his age."

So the next morning, as my first lesson---my grandfather showed how to puff smoke around the hive to make the bees easier to handle when checking the comb for honey.  He said, "tomorrow you will do the smoking and checking. I will watch." After that, I said "what did nan mean about uncle jim...?" "Well at your age he was a little bit naughty and did not know how playing with bees could lead to danger and on that particular day I was walking down the garden and heard a loud buzzing which you get when bees are swarming. So I ran to the hives and found your Uncle Jim, poking a stick into one of the hives' openings, surrounded by hundreds of angry bees protecting their home. So I grabbed him and ran back to the house." "Wow!" I said. "Was he badly stung?"  "No" said my grandfather "not one. The little sod was even laughing as I carried him back to the house. I, however, got stung at least thirty times. So if I catch you playing with bees, you will be left to suffer the consequences. Do I make myself clear?"

I thank my nan for the reminder!.

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