I have always, since my early teens, suffered from migraine headaches and like many others was always looking for a way to just get the pain to go away. I had tried a number of prescription options along with over the counter painkillers and had varying degrees of success.
When my family moved to Georgia and we bought the house that gives our venture its name, we started planting gardens of herbs and vegetables, again with varying degrees of success. One herb that I'd read about that I was very interested in was feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). which was an herbal remedy with both anti-inflammatory properties and parthenolide, which effects serotonin levels in the body. We planted this with a number of other perennials in one of the herb gardens and let it go.
As the year progressed I experimented with taking feverfew when my headaches were coming on. The preparation and dosage were very arbitrary (at least the way I was dong it), generally consisting of running out to the garden and ripping off a bunch of the bitter leaves and either taking the time to put them into a sandwich (as suggested in many herbal writings and websites), or if I was desperate, cramming them into my trap, chewing them and gulping them down in hopes that I would head off the pain that was forthcoming.
It was one of these latter days and I was sitting in the yard chewing and waiting to see if I was in time, when I saw that the garden except for the feverfew was loaded with honeybees, which were busily gathering pollen and nectar throughout the garden and flying off with it. Meanwhile, they avoided that plant that I was chewing on completely.
I sat watching them for a while while waiting for the feverfew to do its job, and was transfixed. I watched them for a while and before I knew it, an idea was lodging itself into my head.
A plan was forming
As part of my job, I traveled a lot. Jeanie would tell you that I am downplaying it, which is probably right.
When I was home, usually over the weekends, I would still watch for the bees in the gardens while we were doing things in the yard and was sure that I wanted to try my hand at beekeeping. Part of me thought this was crazy. I live in a residential neighborhood and there's no way that my wife would want me to be wrangling a bunch of stinging insects.
This didn't stop me from reading about it and studying it every chance I got. I found a lot of do-it-yourself plans from the USDA for hive equipment, bicycle based extractors and all kinds of interesting things.
This went on for roughly 13 years. My traveling has slowed down a little bit and I found out that my wife was really looking forward to me getting a hobby.