I can’t hardly believe it’s been 4 months since I last wrote a blog post. I guess life just got busy. That my friends, is a very good thing. I am feeling better than I have in so very long. Full of gratitude for each day.
If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I have recently had to move, yet again. Today marks two weeks since the occasion occured. I am really enjoying my space. It’s off the road and very peaceful.
Last weekend one of the property owners who lives off site visited in order to tend to the bees. Did you read that??? TO tend to the bees!!! I have wanted to learn about bees for a few years now. Two of my BFF’s had come to visit and the invite was extended to all of us to observe. I could hardly believe the wonder of this opportunity!!!
I have no fear of the bees. I’ve become accustomed to working with them over the years of my love of gardening. I learned some time ago that if I don’t show aggression towards them and remain relaxed, they don’t bother me at all. I was very comfortable sitting just a couple of feet away from the hive while it was receiving attention.
Elwira, the beekeeper, has been doing this for well over 10 years. These hives are a few years old. She tries to tend to them regularly, at least once every 3-4 months. They had been checked earlier in the month and she knew it was time to harvest her honey! That is where this opportunity came into play.
I had company and so they got to enjoy this process as well. My friend Vicky covered her head, as did Elwira. She told us that stings to the face and head hurt the worst. I figured if I was just sitting quietly I wouldn’t be approached and so I had no covering.
The smoker was lit and she applied some smoke to both the hive and to her own body. She explained how by appying it to her exposed skin, it decreased her probability of the bees getting on her and stinging.
For those of you who have watched the Bee Movie over and over and over with your kids, or in my case grandkids, some of it isn’t true. It’s a cartoon….duh! Anyhow…the smoker is not so bad. It’s like if you or I had an anesthetic or something for anxiety before having a tooth extracted! It is there…and then it’s gone!
Also, in the movie, male bees worked. That was the first thing Elwira told us, was that males in bee colonies do not work. They rely on the females to tend to them. They are of no benefit to the hive except for a reproductive issue. They are all users!
Elwira was very methodical in her removal of each frame and it’s inspection. She noted that there were many males in the top frame which explained so many cells with babies in them. She was not bothered by this. She doesn’t care if the bees are producing honey, or more bees. She is just happy they have stayed and are happy in their home.
Bees have specific purposes. Obviously what we typically think of is making honey and pollinators. They also make wax, propolis, and of course reproduce. For such little things they really are quite amazing and so necessary for our survival on this planet!
Each frame is inspected for what type of activity is occuring. Are there eggs for babies, or is there honey? Is a queen evident? After inspection she did some rearranging of the frames, taking certain ones for honey extraction and leaving others behind to hatch out more bees. It was fascinating!
We didn’t stick around for the extraction process, that will have to wait for another time. She said 2 gallons and 1 quart were retrieved. She does not harvest the wax, as the energy to produce it for the bee is quite heavy and so she would rather they just do what they do and not have to work so hard. She loves the bees. So do I!
I love what they do as well as the honey they provide which is a wonder drug in my estimation! It is good as a sweetener, but also has antibacterial properties, is soothing for the skin and nourishing for the hair! It also has been purported to reduce the miseries of local allergens if taken daily year round.
Sitting there, listening to the hum and buzz of the bees, with the warmth of the air relaxing me, and this knowledgable woman’s soothing voice created a somewhat meditative time for me. I look forward to learning more about bees and maybe build my own hut for some of my own. Until then, I will enjoy pulling weeds in the bee yard and relaxing in their presence!~