Friday, September 5, 2008 and downs

From practically knowing nothing about them in March
to being able to at least seem well-versed about them now,
its been an interesting road traveled with my new bee friends.

Its not all sunshine though. Those ladies DO get cranky
if you get up in their business too much.

I've been stung about 5 times so far,
each time except one was my fault.

Why did I get stung? Good question.
My hives were too close to my working areas.
The guy building my deck was taking up the space
where I planned to tuck away my hives, so I had
to have them more out in the open temporarily
where the greenhouse will eventually be.

Dont get me wrong though...if you are conscious,
and move slowly and methodically,
you can walk around the hives very closely
and not ever get stung. I would actually sit in a chair
2 feet in front of the hive and watch the comings
and goings of all the lovely ladies collecting pollen.

I have found that its a wonderful mediation technique
actually. To sit there for 30 minutes and just watch
the will change you if you do it long enough.

But once in a great while, I would be making too
much commotion or my dad would have bothered
them by checking the honeycombs, and then
I would get it from one of the defensive bees.
No biggie, but just so we all know.

If you have bees, have them situated so people don't
have to do things close to the hives.
Bees will rarely sting you if they are just flying
around looking for pollen. It just seems that when
we are close to their hive, that they get a little tense.

I have never smoked my bees, and have not
collected honey or pollen from them this year.
I have protected them from wasps who were
ferociously attempting to take over the hive
by sitting above and smooshing them with a cedar stick.
Check this picture. I was never stung doing this.

I wore masks while moving the hives but otherwise no.
I'm not advising anyone to do anything unsafe.
You are all big girls and boys and you need to
make a wise decision based on sound research
and what you are able to handle. If you are
allergic, you need to really consider the pros
and cons of raising bees on your own.

If you get stung, don't blame me.
I spent all my money on this project anyways,
so it would be like squeezing blood from a turnip.

See the wasps? We are protecting them the bees.
All those vegan nuts that say beekeepers simply
use and abuse their bees need to wake up.
Small organic beekeepers are in a symbiotic
partnership with bees. Its just something
that vegans who are disconnected from the REAL
Earth need to get wise about.

Here is my viewpoint...smooshing the wasps
with a cedar stick. Never killed one bee.
You should have seen how the bees would
tackle these wasps. But the weaker hive was
getting overwhelmed and the human element
finally had to play a part in the dance.

Here's a pure nature, would those
wasps have taken over? Probably.
One hive is VERY strong though, and you
should have seen how impossible it was
for the wasps to get in that one. There was no chance.
The guard bees would beat them up every time.

For tens and even hundreds of thousands of years,
humans have been shaping the natural world,
and today is no different.

Funny thing though...the bees never bother my dad.
Well...maybe just a little bit. But while we were working
on the greenhouse, I was all decked out with my jacket
and headmask, and he was just wearing this.
Not stung once. You should have seen the bees ALL over.

He wears my old skateboard t-shirts from high school..
I just love that. The shorter hive is the weak one.

Here he is checking out the wasp situation. wrap it up...
Any semi-intelligent person should by now realize
that bees are great for pollination, and when teamed
up with humanity, a partnership develops that can
be beneficial for ALL...especially Mother Earth.
A few bee stings here and there (even in the face)
are the price for all of that. By taking just a
few precautions, your chances of getting stung
are very low. Just don't wear black clothes.
They really don't like black clothes.
The beatniks would not have been happy beekeepers.