little black rain cloud

getting ready for bees
We had a pretty interesting experience last week picking up our beekeeping equipment.  Jonny and I arrived at the bee guy’s “bee shed.”  We didn’t see the bee guy at first.  We only saw lots of hives sitting outside waiting to be picked up.  We could hear voices coming from within the shed.  The only problem was the large quantity of bees buzzing to and from the hives stacked right next to the door leading inside.  Jonny and I may have stood there stupidly for who knows how long had the bee guy not eventually come walking outside.  He was all in a tizzy because bees had arrived unexpectedly early and he had to install them right away…and could we just take our hives and go. (all the while we’re sternly telling the kids that “no they could not get out of the van.”  you’ve got to move slow and smooth around bees from what I’ve read and there were bees everywhere.  I couldn’t trust my wild pack of kiddos to do nice and easy on exciting foreign turf)    I sweetly asked the bee guy, “but what about bee jackets and gloves? Don’t we need those?”  (paraphrasing) “Oh yeah, okay.  Come on inside.  We’ve gotta be quick.”  Again, sweetly, “Do we just walk right next to the hives through the cloud of bees?”  “Yeah.”

It was like an initiation.  It was awesome.  We just walked right through the bees.  I loved it.  There may be something abnormal about that.  Some people like to ride roller coasters.  Jonny used to enjoy jumping from bridges.  I like to knit and when I am feeling a little wild, I like to walk through clouds of bees, just like a little black rain cloud.

getting ready for bees

There were more bees inside.

getting ready for bees

Once we got home we just had to try on our new jackets and gloves.  I had some issues with mine, got my head stuck, and was laughed at mercilessly by my big boys.  And in case you hadn’t already figured it out, now you have picture evidence that Jonny and I are dorky.

getting ready for bees

Jonny worked all night last night (at his job job) and passed out early this evening.  He doesn’t know that I am posting this photo.  He’s a good sport so I don’t think he’ll mind.  He was being really silly, trying to be all GQ in his B-Jacket.  He suggested that I embroider his name and a little bee on the front.  I think he was serious.

Bees arrive Wednesday.

p.s.  These are my favorite violets.  The purple ones are everywhere, but there are patches of these here and there.  I love them.




  1. We are getting bees this year, too! I am SO wildly excited. And tomorrow? 25 Freedom Ranger chicks. Life is GOOD! Great, even!

  2. Would love to get bees…Can you recommend and good basic book?
    I am curious as to how much it costs to start up.
    Now we must watch that Winnie the Pooh 😉
    So excited for you!

  3. You’re so adventurous. That’s cool. I can’t wait to see how the honey making goes and what happens next.

  4. As the bees slow down here as Autumn arrives, yours are revving up for the season ahead. I love that.

  5. I read your blog everyday and leave comments so rare:/. Just wanted to write that I enjoy reading your blog. Your photos, writing style and your life inspire me very much! Thank you!

  6. Unbelievable! You two are awesome; I am so excited for you!

  7. Please BEE as detailed as you can with your bee posts, I am living vicariously until I can get up the gumption to become a bee keeper myself. I am loving this and you both look outstanding in your outfits!! go Ginny and Jonny!!

  8. How exciting!!
    Hooray for you guys!
    Homegrown honey will be such a treat!

  9. I love this post Ginny! You look great in your bee gear!

  10. Your blog is so dear.

  11. Brilliant! I would love to keep bees but hubby is *not* keen, and to be fair quite probably allergic to bee stings. I would also love to find wild violets growing in the woods here, but never do. Still, we’ll have English bluebells soon , I can’t complain.

    Enjoy the honey x

  12. This was so timely and fun to read, since I too just got two more hives over the weekend! (I got 2 last spring but I lost them over the crummy winter). Since I’ve recently scored a pile of hive equipment, I’m waiting for 4 more hives to come in, so 6 altogether. I was reading through your comments and thought I would paste something I had just written on my facebook for a friend. Might be helpful? Also, to barbara up there, the suburbs can be one of the best places to keep a hive. There is a much wider variety of plants blooming and nector-flowing all year. They often do better than rural hives.
    “I don’t know where you live but the gal I’m beekeeping with lives in the city limits of Tacoma WA. She can have a total of 4 hives, but I think they require a 6ft fence around part of the yard. Kinda pointless because she keeps hers on her roof. I’m just outside city limits and can have as many as I want. I agree that bees are super expensive to get into. I happened to work out a deal with a local beekeeper (met at farmers market) where I would pour honey into containers for his market once a week in exchange for learning what I needed to know (which was WAAAAY more than I thought!) and 2 hives and boxes. Now our relationship is growing in big ways (my friend and I are doing another farmers market with his and our honey combined), but thats how it started. Also, if you’re really on top of it, I have seen a few good deal on craigslist but they go fast. As for your husband….both of us girls have kids, my friend has 3 plus a new foster girl. I have a toddler and baby. I think people think if they have a hive there will be a fog of bees around. You won’t hardly see them unless you’re a couple feet from the box. They take off for miles, not just around your home. In fact, mine didn’t touch my garden nearly as much as the native bumble bees did.

  13. I grew up with my father keeping bees across the creek in our backyard. I loved it then and I dream of it now. So soon we’ll be back to the country and chickens and bees will be the first order of business. Yes, before we even build a cabin I expect. Talk soon, Rachel

  14. Awesome! So what breed are you getting? I was hoping for Minnesota Hygenics but we are getting Carnolians. So exciting, isn’t it? 🙂

  15. i love the picture of you two in the bee suits. i can see how walking through that cloud of bees and coming through unscathed would be quite the rush! i love violets too–they always make me think of anne of green gables. that bouquet is so lovely!

  16. Love this story! Love that you were brave and just jumped right in (or, in this case, walked right through)!

  17. I have been trying to talk my husband into bees. He doesn’t think there is enough pollen around which is probably true since were on a vrry small patch of woods in the middle of the suburbs. Still..I want honey.

    I sound like Pooh.

  18. I’ve heard it is very expensive to start beekeeping. Do you have any hints for finding good deals?

  19. Oh, I’m so envious…in a good way 🙂 You all are going to have the best honey.

    I don’t know that I could’ve kept my kids in the car — I can only imagine the chaos that would’ve ensued, lol. Have fun with your bees!

  20. I SO LOVE the pic of you and Jonny in the bee suits! Honestly I think it should be framed and hung on your wall!!! We are hoping for bees in a couple weeks too. I actually just spotted an old farm down the road with tons of hives piled up by their barn. There is a bee meeting in town next week that I hope to get to to find out about the locals here. Too bad I am such an introvert…it makes going to random things like that hard, but I will make myself go to meet fellow beekeepers and find someone to help us get set up. It’s my goal!! Maybe even sell us some old boxes, that would be perfect! I wish were were neighbors. We have a lot of the same things going on. Good thing there’s the internet! Have a lovely Tuesday!


  21. This is a very neat adventure. Eric especially thinks it’s awesome to have bees, but I’m not sure I could do it. The pictures of you guys are precious. Your crazy thrills made me laugh! knitting and bees… you def walk on the wild side!

  22. awesome. Love the suits! My husband will be very jealous since he’s begun entertaining the thought of bees lately!

  23. I read recently that in order to keep a marriage alive and healthy couples should do something novel and different together. Well, I think you have got that covered! Also – love the gentle yellow paint in the background of your photo together. So pretty and happy!

  24. I cannot imagine walking through bees….scary! I was just singing little black rain cloud the other day 🙂 Without kids around, just my dog and husband 🙂

  25. You both look cute in your bee keeping ensembles!
    I love violets too. I plant them all over our yard. I brought a white variety from my mom’s and now they are popping up in unexpected places. I keep bouquets all over the house. I am sad when they are no longer blooming.

  26. cool pic of the bees in flight !!!!

  27. Ha! This post is awesome in so many ways. I’d like to keep bees someday. I actually laughed out loud when you said “I like to knit and when I’m feeling wild, walk through clouds of bees.”

    I so love your blog. 🙂

  28. Looks like fun. Thanks for the early morning chuckle.

  29. Maribeth says:

    Lol!! I love it!!! Yall are such cute little bee nerds!!

  30. You are so brave!

    Love the photos.

  31. you guys are just soo cute!! wishing my hubby shared my excitement about all things bees!!!

  32. How fun. I love the pics of you in the bee suits!

  33. Stylin’! Those bee suit pictures look like something out of a movie. Happy beekeeping!

  34. *sigh* I have such a case of bee envy right about now. I think you guys look hip in your beekeeping finery. 😉

  35. Yay, bees!! Congrats! I love the bee suits. You guys look so awesome!!
    I have one in my garage that I can’t wait to use. I call it my ‘space suit.’ 😉
    Hopefully this will be our bee year!

  36. i just have to know – when he asked you to embroider a bee on his jacket, did he preface his request with “hey girl”?

    sadly, our bees left their hive over the winter, leaving behind a gallon+ of honey. we’re looking forward to getting a new batch this spring. we’ve got a lot to learn about bee keeping, and i’m sure i’ll learn a thing or two here!

  37. Oh I can’t wait to see more on Wednesday! You are living so many of my dreams <3 LOVE you and Jonny in the bee suits. So punk rock 😛

  38. bees…….sigh…….I want some! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures. (You all look spiff in those outfits–and I’m sure they will keep the mosquitoes at bay, too.)

I love to hear from you!