Spotlight: Mindy03 (Margaret Tucker)By Sharon Brown (Sharon) on August 29, 2011
|Sometimes we meet people who remind us of our childhood, so it was with Margaret. She asked me to edit an article she'd written about beekeeping. I found myself transported right back to my grandfather's mountain where he kept bees many years ago. I wanted to know more about Margaret, I think you'll enjoy knowing her, too.|
I have only vague memories of my grandfather's bees. Mostly I remember his white bee suit that covered him from head to toe and if I'd known a thing about space aliens back in those days, I might have thought we'd been invaded. But I knew when I saw him in that suit, I could only watch from a distance. I also knew that very soon after he removed that bee suit, my grandmother would have biscuits ready and I would dine magnificently on hot biscuits and honey. Makes me hungry just thinking of it.
Margaret is a Kentuckian, just as I am, and she lives at the edge of those mountains where I grew up. It's hours and miles away from me, Kentucky is a wide state, but someday when I'm on my way back to the mountains, maybe I'll stop and check out her fresh from the hive honey. Every article she writes brings back my craving for it.
I'd like you to get to know Margaret. Here's her story in her own words:
I grew up in a small rural community in Pulaski County in south central KY, the eleventh child of fourteen. Before I started school the road in front of our house was a pebble studded dirt road that was blacktopped just before I started first grade. We would go pick out our hop scotch rocks from the road. We climbed trees, played board games and made imaginary houses when the grass was mowed after getting too high. We used the grass to mark out rooms, doorways and windows on the ground. We had chickens and hogs and a huge vegetable garden where we were all required to weed two rows every week. Daddy had bees but would not let us go near the hive because they were very aggressive. My oldest brother was the exception to that rule, he would go out there and watch them come and go. They never bothered him but went after Mom every time she tried to work in the garden.
My love of gardening came from my grandmother, Maggie Margaret. She could grow anything and had lots of houseplants that were kept on her front porch during the summer and all over the house in the winter. When my parents moved to the house I grew up in, Grandma started a rose bush from the one in her yard. It is a red rose bush that was started from one her Mom brought with her when she came to America. That rose bush was my mother's most prized plant and those of us who showed any interest in gardening knew we were considered good enough when Mom let us take care of her red rose bush. I have a start of that rose bush in my flower garden and am rooting cuttings for others in my family who would like to have a piece of their family history.
In April 2010 my husband decided to get 2 bee hives. I wasn't all that interested in bees then but had no objections to having them. I love to garden and started researching what plants would benefit them so that I could add them to my flower garden. I quickly found out there isn't much information on the internet and what was available gave the same information. I started buying books and started my Plant For Honey Bees database to keep up with the plants I found. The more I researched the more I learned about the bees themselves. I started writing articles on the plants to help other gardeners learn how to help the honey bees without being a beekeeper. My friends asked me questions on the products of honey bees which led to articles on honey, beeswax, pollen and propolis. I'm enjoying this unexpected hobby very much. I would love to tend to my own beehives but my husband won't teach me what I need to know. I'm not sure if he's protecting me or the bees; I'm seriously accident prone at times so the possibility of a disaster involving me and the bees is pretty great. We now have 10 hives. So far I've never been stung by our bees but have had two get caught in my hair. I can work in my flower beds weeding around plants that have honey bees working on them. I guess my calm nature is a great asset when around honey bees.
Margaret's story is one that feels good; it's comfortable and comforting at the same time. I asked her what she saw in her future, and here is what she said:
I believe we will be together until death doeth us part. We've been through some really rough periods and always came out closer than before. I see us adding a few more bee hives to the bee yard but am not real sure how long he will be able to tend to the hives as his health isn't the best. That is one of the reasons I want to learn to do it myself so I can keep my two hives as long as possible.
I love a good love story, and that's exactly what this is. It just makes me feel good. Margaret, thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and thank you, too, for all your knowledge you share about bees. I wish you much luck with learning to be a beekeeper, I think you'll be a good one. And keep right on being happy, that happiness shows in your words.
Folks, if you'd like to visit Margaret's forum and learn more about beekeeping, take a look here. You can also read her articles if you are interested in growing plants for bees and to learn more about what bees produce. The link to them is included at the end of this article. If you would like to chat with Margaret, join her on the comment threads following this article.
Thanks so much for joining us this week. We hope to see you again next week when we see who Nancy brings to the Spotlight.
Margaret's articles are listed on this page. Enjoy!
|beekeeping, honeybees, interview, spotlight|
|I am a retired Art and Humanities teacher living in western Kentucky. I love writing and art with equal measure, but I also have a passion for nature and plants.|
|« More articles|
Comments and discussion:
|Subject||Thread Starter||Last Reply||Replies|
|What a sweet story||nap||Sep 20, 2011 10:47 AM||27|
|Enriching life||Lance||Sep 3, 2011 12:18 PM||1|