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You know you’re a beekeeper when… By John Caldeira, with contributions from many others.

The windshield of your vehicle has at least two yellow dots on it.

You have answers ready for questions about Africanized bees and the value of local honey in preventing allergies.

You eagerly await the phone call from the post office asking you to please come pick up your bees.

You check out all the honey labels and prices at the supermarket.

You’ve gone through the supermarket checkout line buying nothing more than a big load of sugar, and maybe some Crisco.

You’ve estimated just how much money you spent to control mites.

You pick up matches at restaurants, even though you don’t smoke.

Your friends and neighbors think you are the answer to every swarm and bees-in-the-wall problem.

You are keenly aware of the first and last freezes of each winter.

There is propolis on the steering wheel of your vehicle and the bottom of your boots.

There is a bucket of something in your garage that can only be good for smoker fuel.

You are called “the Bee Man,” or “the Bee Lady” by a lot of people who don’t know your name.

You know the bloom period of more local flowers than the state horticulturist.

You welcome a rainy weekend if it will stimulate nectar production.

You don’t mind driving home with a few honey bees inside your vehicle.

Your family and friends know exactly what they’re going to get for Christmas.

You don’t mow the lawn because the bees are working the weeds.

You drive down a road and find yourself evaluating the roadside flowers for their honey-producing potential.

You pull over and check the bees on the wildflowers just to see if they are YOUR bees, AND — you can tell the difference.

You come home smelling like a camp fire, and you haven’t been camping.

You saw Ulee’s Gold and didn’t think there were enough shots of the bees.

You overhear your 9 year old daughter explaining to her friends how to tie a trucker’s hitch.

The school principal calls to ask that you never again let your child take a drone tied with a thread to school for show and tell.

You never stop marveling at these wonderful creatures.

Excerpts from the above list were published in American Bee Journal (December, 1998), which prompted the following responses from readers:

You know you’re married to a beekeeper when…

You spend at least one day a week on your hands and knees with a sharp knife scraping wax and propolis off your kitchen floor.

You’ve ever used bee boxes as furniture in your house, for coffee tables, chairs, night stands, and storage boxes.

You mow around mountains of bee equipment that never seems to make it to the barn.

You plan weddings, child birth, surgery and funerals around honey extracting time.

When buying a new truck, your spouse checks weight loads and measures the bed to see how many hives he can fit in it.

You get stung by the bee that was clinging to your husband’s bee suit when you picked it up to wash it.

and from our local discussion group:

You know you’re a beekeeper when the seat of your car or truck has a hole where the hive tool punched through.

If the smell of bananas at your local farm stand sends you into a momentary panic…

You might be a beekeeper if, while cleaning out the garage, you get excited when you find a couple misplaced SHB traps.

You might be a beekeeper if you visit the SC Surplus Salesroom and the only things that interest you are table saws (for cutting boxes), kettles (for melting wax), deep freezers (for freezing frames), and hot water heaters (for that distant honey house).

You watch Ulee’s Gold just to see the shots of the honey bees.

You might be a beekeeper if you go into a manic state of excitement when your spouse reminds you that you left a 50# bag of cane sugar in her car trunk 2 months ago and she’d like it removed.

You look through beekeeping catalogs for beekeeping equipment you think you can make.

When you have more pictures of your bees than of your kids — and justify it by claiming bees only live six weeks, there are different bees in each picture.

When, after being asked how the bees stay warm overwinter for the eighth time, you’ve joked about knitting them sweaters — and someone believed you.

When you finally said, ‘no, they don’t sting me’ because it was faster to say that than spend the time explaining things to non-beekeepers.

The inside of your clothes dryer has propolis spots.

You have to buy a new freezer for your food because the other is full of frames.

When you buy a second dishwasher to put in the garage to clean plastic frames prior to re-waxing because it’s easier than the pressure washer.

Someone gets in the car with you and ask if you had been smoking!

You might be a beekeeper if you consider using Swarm Commander as an aftershave.

You might be a beekeeper if you use a tractor front loader and deer stands to retrieve swarms.

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