My first real job was Beekeeping. So I was looking at the website of the amazing photographer David Yellen, the photographer who shot my Freshly Inked cover that just came out, and came across this beautiful photo that brought back so many memories. A special Thanks to David for really going above and beyond to make sure the Freshly Inked cover picture was legit. “No bees no honey, no work no money”
I was 13/14 or so and my family and I lived in this tiny 1 bedroom house on someones property who had 5 acres in “Deep valley” Oceanside, on that land was a small bee keeping business. I was very eager as a young man to earn money as we never had much, so I asked the owner “Lon” of the bee keeping business if I could work for him. He said “yes” and mind you at 13/14 I was closer to 20, in hight, and in seriousness. Anyway I got the job making $6 dollars per hour cash ! it was amazing. That was part of the foundation of my work ethic, and my first lesson in HardWorkPays.
I was probably getting stung on average 3-4 times a day, good thing I wasn’t allergic I never would have made it. I was wearing Lon’s old gear and it was short in the arms and legs, so we would tape the gap from the pants to my boots and arms to the gloves, but those little buggers would sneak in still and get me. We would go to all the different groves; orange, avocado, grapefruit, where we had the “man made hives” set up, we would check them for honey, smoke the bees and exchange the boxes for empty ones. Most of the hives were in groves in inland California which gets very hot. Being in the bee suits, in the heat, sweating and not being able to wipe the sweat off your brow was no picnic. I always say every job after my beekeeping job got easier. After harvesting a certain amount of hives we would go back the the small warehouse and I would cut the wax caps off the honeycomb frames with a special hot knife, then place the exposed combs into a extractor, which filtered the fresh honey into drums. That’s my first job in a nutshell. It used to be buzzing bees now its buzzing machines.