Worker Bees…a meditation


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The life expectancy of a worker honeybee is 6 weeks.

Just 6 weeks!

Do you know what eventually kills her?

She dies because  her wings wear out, and she is unable to get back to her hive.

This past Thursday night  was my first bee keeping class.  I enrolled in a  6 week, 18 hour course titled First Lessons In Bee Keeping.  Class didn’t start until 6 PM.  I didn’t get home until after 9:30, which is way past my normal bedtime, so you know I’m motivated. 🙂

By the end of these six weeks, I will know whether or not I want to take the plunge and become a bee keeper.

Here are a few more bits of bee trivia….

In a healthy hive there can be, between 60,000 to 80,000 worker bees at the peak of the season.

A healthy queen honeybee may live 2 to 3 years, although due to the chemicals on plants these days, you’ll be lucky if she makes it a year.

There are 3 different types of bees in a hive:

A queen,   the worker bees and the  drones.

In a good year, you can expect to harvest 40 to 80 pounds of honey off of one hive.  Last year our instructor Bill told us, was not a good year.  He averaged  40 pounds of honey per hive. ( He has 300 hives.)  A gallon of honey weighs about 12 pounds.  Bill recommended a minimum of 2 hives for starters…for reasons I am not going to get into here…but even if it was a bad year, that would potentially = 80 pounds of honey or 6 and 1/2 gallons of local honey.

Side note- this past year we have made the transition from white sugar to honey.   Not going to go off on a bunny trail right now, but the more I learn about  the white pure cane sugar many of us grew up on (and  corn fructose)  the more I am motivated to replace those  sweeteners poisons with honey.


” Anyone can plop a bee hive out in the back forty over the summer.  You are not a bee keeper until your bees have survived through the winter.”                Bill the bee keeper


And on a related note…

I did not get home until 2:45 AM this morning.  Went in to work at 11 PM last night to clean, then set up a banquet hall for a Ducks Unlimited meeting.

I’ve always said, if I had to, and work was slow, I would go to Hardees and flip burgers.     Well, I finally got my wish 🙂

Construction work is  slow.   I have a friend who works part time for a commercial cleaning company.  His boss told him, if I ever needed work, to give him a call.

So last night I got up close and personal with all of the toilets, sinks, and urinals in a 400 seat conference center, as well as an introduction to dry mopping, and reading a table placement diagram.

Last night the story of the Prince and the Pauper flittered through my brain…You remember that story right? A prince and a pauper trade places..and each gets to experience life in a whole new way….

Here I am a self-employed business owner, used to hiring and firing, bidding work, collecting, dealing with customers, and all that goes into being self-employed…

and last night…

I was a worker bee.

(Notice I didn’t say “just” a worker bee.)

There is nothing  degrading about cleaning bathrooms for a living.  Talk about job security.

Woke up this morning with a song in my heart.


Tell me about some of the types of jobs you’ve had over the years..(even if it was 50 years ago)….DM



32 thoughts on “Worker Bees…a meditation

  1. I feel sad for those worker bees, and what our ever increasing unhealthy environment is doing to these colonies in general. I like learning about this stuff with you though, so keep up those lessons 😉
    Your question about jobs made me think…teen years in the 70’s and motivated by the strong desire to stop driving that old blue truck and pay for my own car–babysitting of course, but that wasn’t bringing in the $ fast enough for me so I started cleaning houses. I spent all of high school cleaning the house of my 9th grade Home Ec teacher. I got to know her family REALLY well. That branched into a few other steady jobs…and now remembering this I think that I might have a post for you on your next guest post series!
    In what I recognize now as blatant privilege there was also 2 summer’s worth of office work all thanks to my father’s position in the company. Then I was on to adult life and my regular careers that I’ve mentioned on the blog. I have no qualms about what I may need to do next, even -as you have found out- if that means back to cleaning toilets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had the same thought..those poor worker bees. Can’t wait to get your guest blog post…take your time, but whenever it’s done, just send it to my e-mail. Thanks for the comment! DM

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I worked in a car museum for a season, and also a dog kennels. I couldn’t get on with the breeder and wanted to let all her dogs out to play and have fun…….. pups would have been interesting and she would’ve lost her Crufts status (bitch!).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmmm – gas jockey, chambermaid 😷, Avon door to door sales 😂😂😂 (I don’t even wear makeup), roofer, grill cook…..oh too many to list from back in the day. Like most people – I’ve always done whatever I had to do 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • You really are the Jill of all trades! Not to mention Transmission guru 🙂 How did you ever learn the intricacies of transmissions by the way? Not sure I know the back story to that….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Used to own a garage….could never find a reliable source of rebuilt units when a customer needed one. Decided to take one apart and fix it myself. Had no intentions of making a career out of it…..but as I was getting ready to move up north and wondering what I might do for work next, I got a phone call from a fellow offering me a job running his shop and building transmissions…….that’s the über short version 😊
        If you’ve spare time and nothing else to do – scroll back on my blog to July 13/2013: Back to blogging: This house of mine part one: Out go the Lights. As you work your way forward, you’ll get the back story of most things.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I worked at McDonalds for a summer before college. Always got assigned bathroom duty when I closed. Then for a summer after my first year of medical school I cleaned schools. Scraped gum off of desks and chairs, cleaned and scrubbed floors and bathrooms. I really needed the cash. I’d do it again, too, if I had to. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul, that too is quite a varied list! Tell me more about the lecturer position… and I’ve always been amazed @ the way your mind works when it comes to electrical trouble shooting, and calculating long distance shooting ,etc…so now it makes more sense..with your background in engineering. aha! :-)DM

      Liked by 1 person

      • (Chuckle) You asked for it.
        What started off as chatting in work, expanded to the works canteen after hours for familes and friends, to somehow into women and church groups.

        I was so public spirited then.
        Na, not really, it was just fun!
        I worked it as if I needed anything, they got it, they used it, they took it home. The group only paying for my fuel, the venue of their choice, and keeping me fed on cake and tea.

        That was OK till someone wanted me to speak at a local authority safety week. Then in stepped the local authorites demanding to see my “formal teaching qualifications”.

        Uh? There aren’t any “qualifications” on some of what I spoke about as it kinda got close to illegal, and that kinda upset them (big time). Thus I would have to pay a fee to ‘talk’ and submit my content for them to scrutanize. Two words were uttered and not very politely put.

        A group very kindly offered to rush through a 3 day basic teachers training course but to be honest the idea of having to have a piece of paper to pass on that which I did for free anyway ‘annoyed me’ so much I just stopped doing it (officially).

        So, what did I talk about and do?
        You’ve sort of got to understand that the people I like to mix with are like me i.e. surviving within their means, and for quite a few the term austere is how they live as standard.

        After that it’ll become clearer about what I tried to do to help.

        Austere and limited income living. Maintenance on a shoestring.
        Self protection without Kung Fu.
        (Home security, Street awareness, and for car owners, in Transit security)
        Meeting people (which included profiling and the Internet)
        Using computers and CB’s to keep in touch, and my favorite:
        Why be afraid of computers?
        Which included Skyping relatives across the world. (Many a tear shed).

        (My ‘single mom’ and OAP series)

        Practical ‘courses’
        (All with slighty illegal content)
        Invisible Urban Survival.
        Foraging for your supper.
        Skip (dumpster) diving
        Survival Trapping and Fishing.
        Plus the safe use of airguns (which ironically was the only thing I was paper qualified to teach)
        Tin can cooking and austere hygiene
        Navigation and night transit
        Emergency Exit (aka bugging out).

        As for my mind? I lost that years ago.
        Shooting came from another life Doug.

        And that’s it my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can see why you would be an interesting fun person to listen to..Having an official teaching certificate to teach on those topics…sounds like somebody with too much time on their hands trying to regulate you. what a humbug. I can relate to doing it because you enjoyed it…I have the same experience when I give presentations on local history and sell a few copies of my latest book…I do it because I enjoy it..period. Very interesting stuff Paul!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Bee keeping class sounds fascinating. Thank you for sharing. I always love learning new things.
    I used to be a professional water skier. Then I became a mother, then I became a chaplain for nursing homes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I plan to keep posting about the bee classes…not sure if it will be on this blog or my farm blog. Can’t imagine being a professional water skier. (I can’t even swim) I had a 1st cousin who also professionally water skied in her late teens/ early 20’s. Have you ever written about the chaplain gig on your blog? Bet you would have some wonderful stories. Let me know! DM


      • Can you tell me the name of your cousin? It is a small circle, us waterskiiers. I have skied at Seaworld, Indiana, Canada, costa rica. I have many blogs on that and I have a chaplain post called “Being Stephanie” because everyone thought my name was stephanie. I will write more but I have to keep certain things confidential. It was one of the best things I have ever done. I loved every moment of it. I also did wild life rehab. That was pretty rewarding too. Waterskiing was no so much rewarding for me. There was a lot of pressure to be thin and that was not in my best interest!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Her name was Michelle Fluckinger. She and her boyfriend John skied (is that how you spell it?) in the mid to late 1970’s… you were probably still in the lilly pond 🙂 I will definitely check out your “Being Stephanie” post…


        • We have a small apple orchard, and the bees would quickly pay for themselves just in increased production. I’ve been told by several people who know me, that I need to get into bees…we will see. I am not afraid of them or being stung. Not allergenic, either as far as I know. Thanks for taking the time to comment! DM


  6. Oh boy, you hit on so many points here.

    I’d like to add that’s one thing I find so inspiring about you and your blog. You’ve done a lot, not afraid to keep doing, learning, growing, doing what you gotta do even in slow times. That’s what keeps us strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jen! ps I have a homeschool post I am percolating on..was thinking about you last night as I mulled on it. I have an original edition McGuffy Reader published in 1833 (bought it on e-bay several years ago) and have been thumbing through it at night…wanted to get a glimpse into what the scholars of that time period were studying…it is a gold mine.

      Liked by 1 person

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