Bittersweet Note From Late Father Found By One Of His Kids Has Gone Viral On Twitter, Gathering 800K Likes

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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. 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.”

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.”

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

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.

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.

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

But what about beekeeping 101? 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. Great advice there. It’s what I’m trying to do! Guess we’ll have to make some beekeeping friends to help us out… Books and classes are the friends I speak of.

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.

Image credits: AmyClukey

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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

Image credits: AmyClukey

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?

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.

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

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

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