Around about 1986 my then wife told me a story about her family history. Her granny had locally been a famous beekeeper, all through the years of rationing the queue appeared at her door as the word spread locally that “Mrs Findlay has extracted!”
The story that caught my attention was this.
Granny Findlay was a migratory beekeeper though slightly handicapped by not being a driver. Whilst her bees were located on the Raspberry fields near Montrose in NE Scotland they had done well and the honey needed to come off as like OSR these days it had a nasty tendency to granulate.
The set up was as follows. A truck with extractor and kit, a van to run back and fore, and the team of workers. The plan was to take the full supers to the truck and after extraction replace them on the hives for cleaning up and possibly refilling.
All went well and a sticky crew returned to the family house for a wash up and a well deserved brew up. After tea it was that the horrible discovery was made. Parked on the not inconsiderable hill outside the house the honey tank had leaked, profusely, and was near empty. However the van was not. Empty that is.
My then mother in law told me that she drove the van back to the bees, drove in her bare feet as every time she dipped the clutch she was in honey. And it was she said very slippy too!
Why was she driving a load of honey? Well Granny Findlay said let the bees sort it out, and they duly did, apart from one of those fold over lid tool boxes that the bees could not access. All removed by her legions of workers, so the whole performance could be repeated, but this time with a double checked honey valve. 🙂
I was told that even the blankets in the van which had been soaked were sucked dry, I merely repeat what I was told.
And you wonder why I took bee fever? LOL