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Honey Bee Tales #4

'To Bee or Not to Bee'

Books, school, videos, meetings, one on one chats and then the icing on my cake ... an opportunity to visit a bee yard during hive inspections!

Excitement, fear and doubt all swirled about my brain, as the planned day arrived. My biggest concern? What if, after finally being able to experience thousands of bees up-close, I decide beekeeping isn't for me? Even the task of putting on the protective suit that day seemed daunting compared to my trial run at home!

My entrance into the bee yard furthered the self-questioning, as I stepped directly into the bees' flight path in front of the hive. Then worse ... I stood there (such a simple no-no to remember, right?) Thankfully, I was casually directed to a more advantageous viewing point. I felt like all of my newly acquired bee info had flown nonstop right out of my head.

As the first hive lid was being pulled off, I admit that I had the fear of 'fight or flight'. In my mind, I pictured myself running like OJ Simpson in the 1978 Hertz rental car commercial (click underlined name to view the nostalgic video). The amusing parody ended quickly though, as the hum of thousands of bees lifted from within the opened hive.

As I peered down into the box, I became mesmerized by the busy, intricate world! It was reminiscent of a quote I read in "The Bee Keeper's Bible", which refers to a beehive as a 'perfect society laboring together for the good of the community'. At that moment, intrigue and curiosity overtook my self-doubt. I could actually hear myself exclaiming, "I can do this!"

I enjoyed the next couple hours soaking in valuable info on topics such as: bee health, feeding, hive management, note taking, and the inevitable bee sting.

A few ideas that I plan to utilize in my own bee yard are adding quick reference notes to strips of duct tape adhered to the top of each hive, a utility wagon (which I already have) to tote equipment to/from the bee yard, and a bee shed to organize/store bee equipment & tools.

Unfortunately Scott was unable to attend the hive inspections, but the info & pics that I shared upon returning home certainly provided great dinner conversation!

We both send our gratitude and a big 'Thank You' to Laurene of SCBA, for sharing her time and extensive bee knowledge!

Question ...

Your personal preference while working in hives:

A. Leather gloves

B. Nitrile gloves

C. No Gloves

D. Other (please name)

Until next time ...

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