Every beekeeper has their own mentor, their go-to person for help, encouragement, advice and wisdom gained through experience.
Joe Smith is my bee man.
Into his 80s now, Joe was a friend of Dad's for as long as I can remember. I have childhood memories of riding along with Dad in his truck and stopping by Joe's house, just a few miles away from ours.
Not only is Joe an excellent beekeeper, he's also a wonderful Christian man who has gone to my home church for, again, as long as I can remember. And that's a lot of years, folks...
In the past couple of years, when my beekeeping seems to have gone south for some reason, I've made several beekeeping trips to Joe's and he's been up to my place to help with my hives. Just this week, I picked up 2 nucs (a mini-colony...I assume the term comes from the word "nucleus"...) of honeybees from him to get my hives restarted after all my bees died in February.
If beekeeping is anything, it can be very frustrating. And challenging. And oh so rewarding when the fruit trees are well-pollinated and I pour that lovely golden honey on my biscuit.
My friend Rita got her first honeybees last year. I introduced her to Joe and he fixed her up with a nuc as well.
With 2 nucs from Joe and a package of bees I purchased from another beekeeping friend, I've now got 3 hives back up and buzzing in our yard.
Aren't those girls bee-utiful???!!!
And even more bee-utiful when they're working our fruit trees,...
...collecting pollen and nectar for their hive and honey, all the while cross-pollinating them.
Amazing little buggers, they are...
And it keeps my friend very busy helping the honeybees and beekeepers both thrive.
Thanks Joe, for all you do for the bees and me.
I'm really grateful for and fond of...
...my bee man.