Honey harvest is a family event


I saw a meme created by the Texas Farm Bureau claiming one bushel of corn can make 38 boxes of cereal, 258 six-packs of soda, 33 pounds of sweetener, 2.8 gallons of ethanol, or 17.5 pounds of dried distiller grains.

I’m amazed, and yet I still have to ask… How much is a bushel again?

I grew up hearing the Ag-lingo, even devoting last week’s column for the love of some garden beans, but I’m constantly having to say a little jingle or call my parents for measurement conversions.  A mess of beans here, a couple pecks of peppers there—in The World of Megabytes, I’m lost when it comes to knowing how many ounces to a Mason jar.

Until last weekend.

My family and I spent Sunday afternoon harvesting honey. My husband, Wade, lugged around bee boxes full of liquid gold (and successfully avoiding angry guard bees!). My dad directed our efforts, his experience often saving us a few steps. Gigi kept busy as a bee entertaining our two boys. And I, well, I’m the dreamer behind the operation with a flair for documentation—basically, I snapped some pictures of the sweet afternoon and helped as needed.

A small cloud of unrelenting bees still trailed their stolen honey. We dropped the garage door as sting-prevention and began the process of spinning honey… and sweating. Honey flowed by the bucketful in the warm room, and anticipation increased with guesses for how many pints we’d jar.

So, um, which jar is a pint again?

It’s a lesson I won’t soon forget. After bottling every jar, wiping all of them clean, and counting the bounty a few times for satisfaction’s sake, I’ve finally got it. It just took this kinesthetic-learner a little longer than most. Maybe I’m not alone, and maybe this is about to be more common. After all, much of today’s education is online and arguably lacks the experience factor. Or mayBEE I’m just trying to make myself feel better.

One thing I know for sure, my family’s support and love is more than a bushel, a peck, or hugs around the neck, a barrel, a heap, or…

Wishing you more “sweet” summer days! Thanks for reading.

Neena Gaynor is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. She also writes on her blog at and can be reached via email at


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