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Father Of 6 Hides A Note For His Kids Shortly Before Passing, They Find It 9 Years Later, And It’s The Most ‘Dad’ Thing Ever
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Father Of 6 Hides A Note For His Kids Shortly Before Passing, They Find It 9 Years Later, And It’s The Most ‘Dad’ Thing Ever

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Bees have a secret life we know little about. And yet some people attempt to get close to the little buzzing creatures. Adorable yet threatening, especially when provoked or accidentally stepped on, bees are an essential part of life as we know it, and the products they make are oh-so splendid.

One father hoped that he’d be there for one of his six children to teach them all he’d learned about the craft of beekeeping, yet illness knocked on his door one morning and let itself inside. Knowing he was running out of time, he wrote a note for his kids to find one day and put it away as one last game of hide and seek.

9 years later, the game would be finished, with the contents of the letter shared by his eldest daughter on Twitter in what became a wholesome thread. We’ll also dive into some beekeeping basics, all thanks to Mandy Shaw from Bee Built who was kind enough to share her insight with Bored Panda.

Let’s see what the buzz is about!

More info: Twitter

Amy Clukey’s youngest brother Liam found a hidden note written by their late dad Rick in June 2012 when going through his beekeeping equipment

Image credits: AmyClukey

Amy Clukey was approached by her youngest brother Liam one day with a remarkable find. He’d been looking through their dad’s beekeeping equipment and came upon a hidden note left by their late father, written in pencil in June 2012 on a piece of O’Shea Lumber Company paper, with the slogan: “We always measure up.”

The note read: “I hope this note is found by one of my children who is curious about beekeeping. Beekeeping is actually pretty easy and you can learn everything you need to know online. Bees make more products than just honey and as a hobby it can be a source of extra income $$$. So don’t be afraid, have courage. Good luck, love dad.”

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The only thing that would’ve made this note more dad-like would have been a dad joke. The practical nature, the paper choice, the simplicity, and the outpouring of love and trust in the last words makes this one of the most wholesome dad notes out there.

In the note he said beekeeping was easy, encouraging his 6 kids to take it up: “Don’t be afraid, have courage. Good luck, love dad”

Image credits: AmyClukey

Amy shared the note on Twitter, with the caption: “Note from my dad found in his beekeeping equipment nine years after his death. He is missed.” She explained further in the thread that her dad had been only 53 years old when he succumbed to terminal lung cancer. The date on the note coincided with the time doctors told him his time was coming to an end.

Although Amy isn’t too keen on beekeeping herself, some of her 5 siblings are fond of the craft. Her sister Emily is planning on beekeeping when she buys her house. Speaking of house buying, Amy joked with one commenter that she wished her dad was still around so that he could “complete 80% of renovations and then leave them unfinished, the way he always did when I was a kid.”

Let’s look a little closer at the contents of the letter. Beekeeping is easy and all can be learned online. Meanwhile, the products of beekeeping can be sold for a little bit of money. Considering the fact that I have never looked into this craft in much detail before, come with me on my journey of learning more about it.

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It stirred up bittersweet feelings in Amy, who shared the note on Twitter, along with his story and battle with lung cancer, which took him away nine years ago

Image credits: AmyClukey

Mandy Shaw, Chief Beekeeping & Product Development Officer of Bee Built, believes that “a beekeeper’s time with the bees is special and gives the beekeeper a sense of calmness and connectivity to their bees (for the most part – there are moments of heart pounding adrenaline, too!)” 

Bees create a lot more than just honey. Wax, propolis, royal jelly, pollen, and even bee venom have provided benefits to humans for generations. From a delicious healthy sweetener (pro tip: don’t give to babies younger than a year old to prevent infant botulism), to balms, salves and candles made of wax, a variety of possibilities are there for the willing.

However, as exciting it may be to jump in and harvest the rewards, it’ll take a lot of work and skill to actually be able to do so. As Mandy puts it, “beekeeping has a very steep learning curve, so jumping into the hobby without any prior study or help from an experienced beekeeper is not recommended.”

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Image credits: AmyClukey

Image credits: AmyClukey

Some people were curious about the beekeeping element and whether any of the kids were going to be taking it up

Image credits: AmyClukey

Although Rick said it’s quite easy, a high percentage of beginner beekeepers quit after a year or two. Beekeeping For Newbies highlights the process of making the beekeeping experience better, starting with educating yourself. Guess we’ll have to make some beekeeping friends to help us out… Books and classes are some of the friends I speak of.

Mandy’s best advice for new beekeepers would be to “join your local beekeeping association, and get connected to the beekeepers in your area!” Regardless of the years of beekeeping, the buzzing creatures can and will find ways to surprise you, so you’ll never stop learning!

Image credits: AmyClukey

Considering all the preparation and learning curve, beekeeping for beginners should start no later than the fall, with a plan to be managing your first beehives the following spring. You’ll need to have a suitable location for beehives as they’re best situated facing east/southeast, level from side to side, and near water sources, nectar, and pollen. In addition, they should be easily accessible with room to work. Other considerations are afternoon shade, winter windbreaks, shielding from neighbors, good airflow, and water drainage.

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To purchase one hive, your first bees, protective gear (a veil to protect your eyes and face, either a full bee suit or a bee jacket, leather gloves and boots), basic tools (bee smoker, hive tool, bee brush), and miscellaneous supplies can cost up to $1000, so make sure you’re budgeting and prepared to spend on the unexpected.

If you think you can save money on not buying protective gear – please reconsider. Reading the hive’s mood is a skill only learnt through years of practice. You will get stung, it’ll hurt, don’t do it.

There are three main hive types to choose from: Langstroth hives (most popular in the US and, thus, most recommended); Warré hives; or a horizontal hive, such as a top bar hive, a Langstroth long hive, or a Layens hive. However, consider the physical implications of each, as the Langstroth hive can weigh up to 80 pounds, bees and honey included.

Make sure the location, hive and gear purchases have been completed before you buy your bees. Bee suppliers usually take orders starting in December and January for the following spring. When buying honey bees, you have two primary choices to make: what “race” of bees to purchase and whether you want them in a “bee package” or a “nuc.”

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Image credits: AmyClukey

Choosing a type of bee can be confusing. Beekeeping For Newbies recommends buying bees from a local beekeeper, if available. Local bees are adapted to the local climate, so they’re likely to fare very well. If you cannot get local bees, Italian bees (Apis mellifera) are the next best thing as they’re the most common in North America. Do check what the situation is in your respective country.

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Once your bees arrive, there’s no time to dilly-dally – they need to be installed! Although a nuc will be more expensive than a bee package, they’re easier to install, so if it’s within your budget, consider that option. Using your hive tool, lift the frames with the bees on them, and place them in your hive. If any bees remain in the nuc, shake them into the hive.

Installing a bee package is a bit more complicated. With a bee package, you put the caged queen in the hive first to give the colony a few days to accept and free her. Once the queen cage is in the hive, shake the box to get other bees into the hive. May seem daunting, but wear your gear and bee not afraid.

Then all you have to do is manage it and make sure the bees survive. From regular hive inspections to adding and removing boxes and frames as dictated by the colony’s population and activities, harvesting honey, and preparing your hives for winter. See where the time commitment comes in?

For others, the note brought back nostalgic memories of their own dads, helping them remember fond times with their loved ones

Image credits: AmyClukey

At the end of the day, beekeeping is not for everyone as bee stings are unavoidable (for someone with allergies they could be lethal), the cost is high, and location limitations and the time commitment may be too much hassle. But there’s still a way to help your friendly neighborhood bees – and that is by setting up a pollinator garden. Almanac has a lovely article on how to get started which I’ll leave here.

Mandy agreed that “there is definitely a shift in interest from having green lawns to having pollinator gardens. Providing bees (native bees especially) with a variety of forage, and providing nesting habitat is a wonderful way to be a part of restoring bee populations.”

“Another way to help is to become an advocate for bees,” she continued. “Raising awareness and talking with your friends and neighbors about the importance (and awesomeness) of bees may seem like a small thing, but it really can be impactful!”

If you come across a tired bee, you can treat it to some sugar water (not honey!) Mix two teaspoons of white granulated sugar (always use this kind) with one teaspoon of water, and put it on a plate or drip it on a flower to revive a tired bee. And then just let it bee!

Image credits: AmyClukey

Beekeeping is easy if you put your mind to it and do all the necessary prep work.

Mandy believes that a perfect hive exists but is different for every beekeeper. “The description of a perfect hive probably depends on what the beekeeper is looking for in their bees (honey production, gentleness, resistance to mites and viruses),” she said. “I have worked with bee colonies that have ticked all the boxes of what I was hoping for – and bees that haven’t!” 

At the end of the day, after all the effort and love put into the craft, it’s not difficult to see how “beekeeping can become a very transformative hobby.” 

Rick’s memory will live on forever, especially now that thousands of people will be looking into beekeeping thanks to him. We wish Amy and her family all the best!

Image credits: AmyClukey

Hope this little article helped introduce you to bee life, but remember – this is Bored Panda, not Bored Bee, we don’t know everything about beekeeping! Don’t sue us if things go wrong!

We wish Amy and her family all the best going forward and hope that their bees are healthy and happy when they decide it’s time to get some. Let us know your thoughts in the comments and whether you’re interested in beekeeping yourself! Until next time!

Over 2K comments and 795K likes have been received on the Twitter thread, with many sharing in the love. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Eglė Radžiūtė

Eglė Radžiūtė

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Hi, I'm Egle! If you made it onto this page, you may want to learn more about me. Would recommend reading works by Edgar Allan Poe much more than reading this bio, but suit yourself. I have plentiful interests, starting from the things I studied in university (Propaganda & Film, Sci-fi Writing, Psychiatry & History of Mental Illness, etc.) and ending with an addiction to tattoos, documentaries, and dancing in front of a mirror at 3am. I'm also a budding artist; I dabble in painting and drawing random bits of chaos. My favorite desert is Tiramisu.

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Eglė Radžiūtė

Eglė Radžiūtė

Author, BoredPanda staff

Hi, I'm Egle! If you made it onto this page, you may want to learn more about me. Would recommend reading works by Edgar Allan Poe much more than reading this bio, but suit yourself. I have plentiful interests, starting from the things I studied in university (Propaganda & Film, Sci-fi Writing, Psychiatry & History of Mental Illness, etc.) and ending with an addiction to tattoos, documentaries, and dancing in front of a mirror at 3am. I'm also a budding artist; I dabble in painting and drawing random bits of chaos. My favorite desert is Tiramisu.

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anjelabarranco5 avatar
Anjelika
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This made me cry, although I have a rocky relationship with my dad , he gave me many life lessons, some good some bad but I love him alot. I think I'll talk to him this evening

marieange-dobresk avatar
Dispatcherqueen
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Everyone here should read this. I wish all of you the very best! https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/death-is-nothing-at-all-by-henry-scott-holland

nikkiwaters avatar
PandaPops
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thank you for this site, just found the perfect poem for my grandfathers funeral

Load More Replies...
anjelabarranco5 avatar
Anjelika
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This made me cry, although I have a rocky relationship with my dad , he gave me many life lessons, some good some bad but I love him alot. I think I'll talk to him this evening

marieange-dobresk avatar
Dispatcherqueen
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Everyone here should read this. I wish all of you the very best! https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/death-is-nothing-at-all-by-henry-scott-holland

nikkiwaters avatar
PandaPops
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thank you for this site, just found the perfect poem for my grandfathers funeral

Load More Replies...
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