I am allergic to bees. Our youngest daughter Margo (the original GooBees) was determined to help save the declining honey bee population, so she made it her mission to convince me to put beehives in our yard. For years she tried to me talk me into getting a beehive in the garden. “Just no” I would say, “but why?” she would ask. “Because I am allergic duh!” The honey bee population is declining, and Margo said we had to do something. But I’m allergic…if they sting me, I will die. Never mind if we have no food to eat, we all will die.
Because I am allergic to bees, I would not allow my husband and daughter to put beehives in our yard. This is something they had wanted to do for years. “No backyard beehives for us, I don’t want to die,” I said! So, no…just no. Year after year, just no.
I am allergic to wasps, hornets (I call them flying expletives with wings) and spiders. I don’t like wasps, hornets or spiders, never have and never will (going into anaphylactic shock is not fun). However, I have always loved the honey bee. I have a healthy respect for the bees because their sting could potentially kill me, but I also love them. Afterall they make honey and who doesn’t love honey, right?
My garden is my happy place. It is where I go to talk to God and feel peaceful and centered. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to get my hands deep into the soil and plant something and then step back and watch it grow. I love the process. It helps me make sense of my world. I spend a lot of time in my yard.
One day Margo joined me in the garden and asked me to look around…I did. She asked me what I saw. Bees…hundreds of bees…I was knee deep in the bees. I am not afraid of bees. My garden bees never bother me. They have a job to do and they just do it. That was the moment I decided the answer was yes to a backyard beehive, but I didn’t tell Margo that. Instead she got a beehive that Christmas.
One hive became two, two became five, and so on. Having the neighborhood hives in our yard made the garden explode. Watching the hive life was a thing of beauty. Knowing which bees in the garden were from our own hives was so much fun. Harvesting our own honey and pulling beeswax from our own hives filled me with awe and wonder.
It has always been a chore to find bath and beauty products that my family could use because of allergies and skin sensitivities, so we began to make our own. Making our own soaps and shampoos turned out to be such a fun hobby. Using ingredients from our garden to make our products gives me joy.
When it came time to make another batch of soap and shampoo, we not only took herbs and flowers from the garden but honey and beeswax from our hives too. It is incredibly satisfying to make a bar of soap or shampoo using ingredients from our own garden and beehives.
We truly feel we are making a difference with our GooBees Farm and GooBees Honey Emporium products and honey. Margo’s mission to help save the declining honey bee population has turned into a family business. We get to help the declining bee population by having beehives and encouraging others to do so, and we sell the products that we ourselves use. We use and sell products that require little to no plastic packaging and we feel good about that.