Tuesday, 28 October 2008

First Lesson in Beekeeping

Last night I had to put the remaining four frames into the hive, so duly put on my veil hat and gloves and headed for the hive. Feeling lazy, I had decided that my white top was enough and that the black trackpants wouldn't matter. Wrong!!!

Six stings later, I was feeling like the worst bee-mother ever. I didn't really care about my own discomfort, more that some of the bees might have died while defending their home. *sob*

Then my darling man found an article on beginning beekeeping I wish I'd read before being so cavallier with my new friends . . .

Finally, why are bee suits white? Well bees have odd memories. They cannot remember their owner from one day to the next but they do remember that their natural enemy is the brown bear. White is the colour least like their old adversary from way back. Conversely, dark clothing rings warning bells for bees. So be warned. If you approach a bee hive looking and behaving like a bear, never mind that generation upon generation of Australian bees have NEVER set eyes on a brown bear, the bees will regard you as a bear and attack!

So stupidly, I became a bear last night and even though there were only six stings through my clothes, I cannot be sure that the bees escaped unharmed. I can only hope that they were able to retract their stings from my clothes and that they were OK. Note to self: NEVER do that again!

The good news is that this morning they seemed to be back to their old selves, with the scary bear of last night having disappeared. And I can definitely smell honey now emanating from their hive . . .

love and light


Anonymous said...

Ack, you poor thing! Hopefully things will go smoother in future....with white!


Cheryl said...

Love you naturewitch.....only you would worry about the bee (apart from me)......I have learned many lessons from nature during my 57 years....the greatest teacher of all is experience........

You are doing great.....hhhmmmm think I can smell honey to......

Wendy said...

Ouch! Hope things go smoothly from now on in.

Sage said...

I think I would be too scared of the bees to be a beekeeper though I love the honey they produce.

naturewitch said...

Hi Molly
I talked to my homeopathy teacher about allergies to beestings and he said it might be possible for you to be desensitised using homeopathic remedies. However, as your reaction is so acute, I would recommend doing it under stict guidance from a registered homeopath. xx

Thanks, Cheryl
I knew you'd understand. Just hate the thought of any of the little darling perishing, although I know they do eventually. xx

Hello Wendy
Yes, things have settled down again.

Hey Sage
Bees are friendlier than you think, although apparently they can be aggressive if provoked. My Dad kept bees and I don't remember him getting stung very often, so it must be possible to do so with minimal damage.
I love honey, certainly, but most of all I just want to provide another home for some lovely little creatures essential for our survival on this planet. xx