Looking at the sky
My dad was a beekeeper, and when I was a teenager and worked for him, there was a lot of looking up at the sky.
The best time to take off honey was when it was sunny out. We'd use carbolic acid, a chemical repellant that worked with the sun's heat to push the bees out.
However, on cloudy days, it was never quite effective.
We'd spend our morning listening to the weather report and staring at the sky, deciding which way the clouds were moving.
The trouble was there were no guarantees. Clouds would roll in, and storms would come out of nowhere. You were always at the mercy of the unknowable nature of the weather.
But it didn't stop us from going out.
We'd wait until the weather looked right and give it a go. Sure, we might get stung—we almost always got stung—but we'd also get a chance to get some solid work done, pull a yard, and bring home some sweet honey, and that was always the reward.
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