Sep 3, 2008

A while ago the subject of bee keeping came up and I mentioned there were bee hives near me. Well today I spied the bee keeper at his hives so I thought I would take a stroll down and see what like. I asked if he minded me taking a few photos and telling me what he was doing. He was happy to explain. He was repairing a hive that had collapsed. The hive was lying on its side with the bees swarming round. He did warn me that the bees were in a bit of a feisty mood. I was feeling brave enough so I headed forward to get a closer photo as he worked with his smoke gun. He was calming them before splitting the hide in to each section. With in seconds I have an angry bee in my face and then another…by the time I have thought bloody hell!! I am feeling them hitting my clothes. I make my excuses and leg it up the field quick. I leave a few behind me but with my hair full of bees giving it pure tambo the world is no more than an angry buzz. Using my shirt I I knock them all off and make it to the house. Unstung and undeterred I get my tourie and midge net. Fleece and work gloves. Tooled up I head straight back. Donning my safety gear I approach again. This time I am quickly surrounded by the bees. They are hitting me and all over me but I can take a few photos with confidence. So far so good. I learn that its harder to separate heather honey. That if you want to keep bees you should have 2 or 3 hives in case of losses. Now our man{sorry I forget his name} looks up at me whilst we are speaking and there is a horrible look on his face. Whilst he is explaining how blue is a really bad colour with bees. The first one gets me on a finger through a hole in the gloves. Yea they will do that, get through the smallest holes he says I realize that they are inside the midge net that is not quite as tucked in as I thought. Trying not to panic and having a look at the situation. I am two hundred yards from home and now covered in bees - hundreds of them. All round the back of my neck is crawling with them and they are filling the face net....mmmm....LEGGIT!!! So its right mate that was interesting. I will see you again ouch but ouch I gotta go. Legging it up the field was a right laugh!. The world was one mad buzz, every so often another one would sting…luckily enough it was all up hill to the house. Just as I was wondering if I was going to kop anaphylactic shock or maybe just a plain old heart attack or if that damm buzzing in my ears would ever stop I made it in to the yard. Shouting for help I got the hose on and the OH took great delight in hosing me clean of the little varmints. She quickly pulled out all the stings and applied cream Job done. I don’t know what all the fuss was about…hehe

So sitting here in fresh clothes with a necklace of nippy bee stings and fingers buzzing. They got me down the back and up a trouser leg. I ask my self what have I learned about bee keeping and the answer must be not a hell of a lot really. It might be an idea to have some decent gear rather than developing your own through trial and error. A good pair of running shoes rather than steelies for foot wear. I think that I wont be perusing bee keeping as a hobby for the foreseeable future…..hell I don’t even like honey.

Here are some photos the first is the hive on its side. The second is the honey comb exposed. The third is the hive rebuilt with an angry population on the sides……..a fun day was had by all...never see a Bee eater when you need one!!

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