A sticky situation

I once read only a crazy person would consider extracting honey inside their house.

I once read only a crazy person would consider extracting honey inside their house. Of course, the author is right. Extracting honey inside your home are the actions of a mad woman. How do I know? Because I have been extracting honey in my home for the past three summers.

For the small beekeeper with a couple hives in the garden, there aren’t a whole lot of options. I mean, where else are you supposed to extract your honey? You certainly can’t do it outside unless you want 100,000 bees descending on your unfortunate honey-thieving head and garages, barns and sheds are not always the cleanest, nor do they usually have access to things like hot running water. So the house it is.

If you ever want to do an experiment of how many things in your home you touch in a day, all you need is a honey extractor and a stack of supers. At day’s end you will be amazed to find honey on buttons, handles, railing and knobs. On walls, steps, floors and doors. On shoelaces, phones, computers and pets.

I am happy (and so are the pets) to report that things are a lot less sticky as I have become more experienced. The first year I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and spent a large part of my time rushing all over the house doing frantic Google searches, looking for books and hunting down various paraphernalia such as sieves, pans and knives. The honey health inspector would have been less than impressed.

Today the extraction operation runs like a clean well oiled machine…or an adequately greased one anyway. An added bonus is when I’m finished the entire house still carries the lingering scent of honey.

This is in stark contrast to the sauerkraut-making I recently completed. When sauerkraut starts to ferment there is nothing sweet about it. Woo wee! Now there’s a fragrance you won’t find on a perfume shelf. The instructions on making sauerkraut informed me if my house smelled like a wicked fart things were progressing as they should. Judging by the odour wafting from the crock, we could only conclude I was doing a stellar job. However, with only two ingredients (salt and cabbage) I would have had to work pretty hard to screw things up.

In hindsight, I am so glad I made the sauerkraut first and extracted honey second. It would have been so unfortunate to have to mask over all that beautiful honey smell with the scent of wicked fart.

The only downside was during the honey extraction I smelled like honey too. That might not seem like a bad thing, but given the recent bear-in-the-garden incident, it was a tad unsettling to go outside knowing I smelled like a bear’s favorite condiment.

I could just imagine the bear’s reaction. “Hey! Check out what we have in the garden aisle. Honey basted human! How convenient is that?”

One thing I don’t want to be is convenience food for a bear. I think I’ll stick with being fast food instead; food that runs fast; very, very, fast.

As I scuttle about gathering food for winter it occurs to me the only difference between me and a bear is she carries her pantry in her stomach while mine is off the kitchen. I almost feel sorry for her. It’s hard to admire your stores when they’re hidden in layers of fat. I love going into my pantry to admire the sparkling jars of apple juice, honey, pickles, sauerkraut, wannabe-jelly but-instead-syrup, dried apples and tomatoes. I revel in my shelf of beeswax and dried herbs; sometimes I spin off a lid just to inhale a tantalizing whiff of peppermint, lemon balm or sweet cicely. I think I get as much pleasure from admiring my winter provisions as I do consuming them. I doubt the bear contemplates her pudgy belly with the same delight. But who knows? I’m not a bear. Maybe bears do admire their bellies while slimmer bruins look on in envy; after all, the bigger the belly the better the odds of survival. Their wealth is in their fat. For a bear, having the biggest belly is like having a mansion with a BMW parked in front. Too bad we humans don’t view our bellies that way. As for me, I’m not so much worried about a beer belly as I am glad not to be a bear belly.

 

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from Northern BC. You can catch up on past columns by visiting www.shannonmckinnon.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler comes off a night shift on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Our Hometown: The doctor is in the house

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler was born and raised in Williams Lake

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read