It is funny how in life it seems we always seem to gravitate back to what we know.
As a young child, up until about the young age of seven or so, my father kept bees. It was something I had not given much thought to until I started working for Dennis as an undergrad, at the age of 21. I remember sitting at the microscope at the lab at Penn State, a few months after beginning work, when suddenly, I had a flashback of sitting in my dad’s pickup truck with my older brother while my dad was inspecting some colonies. I will mention that this memory also includes my brother who decided that it was a good idea to get out the truck, resulting in two swollen shut eyes from stings, but that is another story in itself. I can still picture the hives in the head row lining my farm and the miscellaneous beekeeping equipment still hanging around in the garage and barn. I remember all the Christmases smelling the beeswax figurines and helping dad place labels on honey jars to sell to our local dairy and restaurants; and of course the gallon honey jar on our counter that, at the time never seemed to empty, but had now long since been removed.
It is interesting what gets buried in deep parts of your memory, and yet somehow, in some way, it catches up to you and takes you back. Even now, speaking to my grandparents they never fail to remind me saying, “You know, your father used to keep bees?” prompting my response, “Oh yes, I remember, grandma…”
While I may have been too young to really understand at seven, I now look forward to ‘talking bees’ with my dad. We always say we need to start keeping bees, but it hasn’t happened yet. I am hoping that this summer will be the summer that we stop talking and start doing, relive those fond, but blurry memories of my early childhood and hopefully get some long overdue father daughter bonding time.