By Bertha Johnson – Red Deer, Alta.
Many folks kept honeybees during WWII to relieve the need for rationed sugar. Mom and I could take care of them without any protection because neither of us exuded a body odour that would stir them up.
This must have been caused from nervousness by the keeper to the bees. My stepfather was one such person. He had to be fully covered and masked, tied up and tucked in with boots and long gloves.
Mom and I could change supers, catch any swarm and drop them into the hive wearing only shorts and tops with bare legs and arms – without any fear.
The only time I was stung was when I was turning the extractor. When my arm came around it hit a bee in the air. Our honey was used for canning fruit, baking, and all that we needed for fresh bread and toast.
Mmmm-mmmm, good – and healthy too!