I've wanted to keep bees since I was a child, standing a few feet behind my dad, wearing his beekeeping veil.
I was around Lupine's age.
In my young mind was the knowledge that someday I would be a beekeeper, too.
I've spent years imagining and romanticizing what it would be like to have my very own bees. On my very own farm.
When I started making body care in my 20's, I even named my company – now LuSa Organics – "Queen Bee's Earthly Delights". In honor of the bees my dad once kept in our backyard, and the bees I hoped someday
But I never really considered what it would actually be like to keep bees.
The hope that everything goes according to plan. The maternal-like need to protect them from pesticide spray and winter hunger.
If we spoke the same language I would tell the bees this:
You are amazing creatures. You pollinate. You make honey. Goodness, you make your own glue from the sap of the trees that surround our farm.
You creatures are nothing short of amazing.
And, well, I really hope you know what you're doing.
Because we're still pretty green. Completely green. We're learning from books and from some words on the phone or at the coop or through email of more experienced beekeepers.
We're learning as we go by getting in the mix and seeing how things work in your world.
And for now, harvesting your honey for our own use is only a dream.
But it's enough.
In my morning tea. Our weekly ice cream. And special baked goods.
And next summer I will harvest great hand-fulls of lemon balm from the garden and slice up some ginger and stuff it all in a mason jar. I will cover it with your honey and I will delight each time I stir that magic into a cup of tea.
And then we'll dig elecampane and make cough syrup.
Medicine. Treats. Magic. Nourishment.
But for that to happen, we need you to make it through the winter.
So hang in there, won't you?
We'll feed you some local honey we bought this season in hopes of preparing you for the cold months to come. And next summer I promise you a new, nectar-rich field of flowers, just beyond the garden.
Oh, and bees? Thanks for all you do.