Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kilgore's the beekeepers

This past weekend I ran into my mom's first cousin at a birthday party. The highlight to me was the lady in the picture. We caught eyes when we were in there, and there was something familiar to them. I saw my grandmother's eyes. She smiled. It crossed through my head that she was related to me. Well when she came up to me it was like she looked at me and said hello, and before she could ask me how we knew each other I told her I think we're related. She covered her mouth, and laughed. Her father and my grandmother were brothers and sisters.
An interesting thing I found out about our Kilgore ancestors, these were my mother's mom's family. Was that they were beekeepers. I remember my Nana's brother Uncle Joe we called him, I think his name was Jodie. He had many hive bodies out in his fields. I remember my Uncle Joe but this is the only thing I remember talking to him about, because it was one of the only thing that really interested me. I hung out more with his wife Aunt Doris and their daughters and grand-daughters and grandsons. I remember there being a lot of women in that family. But they all worked as hard as any man. Anyway this whole beekeeping thing seemed interesting. I wasn't crazy about bees or getting stung, so I was amazed that he actually kept them, and he'd say they were his bees. I asked him about it and why he did it? And he said well, my father did it, and his father did it. My brother Gene does it too. So I guess it's a family thing. He showed me the hives, I was scared at first cause I thought when he opened the boxes they would just swarm out and attack like in the Killer Bee movies I had seen. But they didn't. I remember other things he told me. I wish I'd listened more, because he told me about these boxes he made for the bees, and how he made special chambers like one just for the queen of the hive, and he explained it all to this little boy that was me. I really don't remember much more than that, but I do remember this, I loved to eat honeycombs or the wax on top of the honey because I had asthma and it was supposed to be good for asthma. I loved anything I could learn about insects, not sure why they interested me so as a child and teenager. My project was Entomology from 6th grade till 9th grade in 4-H, I would usually win in District Project Achievement, but at State I only won once. Anyway getting off the subject. Anyway I remember bits and pieces of it all, but not really much. I asked him how he got his bees in the first place and he showed me something that I will never forget. He took part of the honeycomb full of honey, and put it in a jar. We left the hives and just walked for a long ways. Somewhere out far. I remember my 3rd cousin Greg being with us. He had red hair and freckles like my Uncle Andy. He took the honeycomb out and put it out on this old log. Greg and me played and ran around and looked at the hogs and the rest of the farm, then we saw Uncle Joe waving his arms, we came over and on the honeycomb was a bee. He said these bees here communicate,this bee will go find it's bee friends and within a hour or so there will be more bees here. And they will just keep coming till a whole swarm is here. They will carry all the honey back to their hive. Well these were actually probably bees from the hives we had walked from, but he said this is an example of how got his bees. I then asked him did he ever get stung, and he said more times than he'd like to remember. That was it, then it was off with cousin Greg to play until we heard our moms calling us to tell us "The Wizard of Oz" was on, for some reason my mom wanted me to see this movie with all my Kilgore cousins. I often think of things when I was young, and apply them to today. I think about Uncle Joe, one of my Nana's favorite brother's and his childhood stories about his bees. Wouldn't it be great if we were like these ole bees. Are we telling others about the One we have found? The spirit has filled me with much good news, I think that's why I like sharing it in my blogs, just like those bees. Don't remain silent if you feel something you are supposed to share. Let it out! Honey is like Jesus, bring the bees to the honey! This one's for you cousin Linda!