Since the discovery of a handful of “bees” lodged in one of our birdhouses, my mom made it her mission to transfer the bees to a more suitable living quarter where she could easily harvest their pure unaltered honey. Ignorance truly is bliss, when you don’t know that your “bees” are actually bumblebees. Or that harvesting honey is the very last step (if you’ve been lucky that summer) that comes after an involved process of hours and days of taking care of the bees which includes checking for the queen and brood on a regular basis. Other responsibilities accompany the weekly routine that must be done to keep your bees alive and healthy such as feeding, catching swarms, making splits, building frames and new boxes, calling the bee inspector, checking for mites and other diseases. But when you don’t know all this, and you’re highly motivated by the prospects of being able to indulge in sweet liquid gold, nothing can sway a determined woman! And thus The Bee Haven began.
After 14 days of patiently waiting for our “bees” to do something, like make honey or the looks of it, we called up an experienced bee friend to ask what was up. She concluded that we couldn’t possibly have honey bees if we had already started naming them. There are just too many bees in a cluster to be able to name them. It seems as though Daniela, Sunny, Davey, Riley and Frederica had disguised themselves as bees just so that they could get a house upgrade (aka nice hive of 5 frames)! So we had relocated a nest of bumblebees! What now…we had invested about $100 already on a fake set of “bees”. As we did not want to be wasteful and we had acquired a fair amount of equipment with our hopes up, we set up a hive in a protected corner of the sunny front yard and bought a colony of honey bees from a local beekeeper.
16 years later, we’re happy about the mistake that started it all. The bees, as well as the garden are thriving and I’ve got an endless supply of sweetness. Up until now, I’ve only helped with harvesting the honey. And I always make sure it gets eaten before the honey goes bad because it doesn’t contain any preservatives. (Funny thing is, it never goes bad, because it has natural antibiotics but I’m just going to ignore that fact, lol.)
I’ve never really been that beekeeper type. I’m not really into insects or white suits.
Never say never, right? After a strenuous year of school where every minute was maxed with productivity, I have a newfound appreciation for the worker bees.
Now I consider myself a bee whisperer (even though they don’t have ears) but I hope they feel my gentle vibe when I check up on them to make sure they are ok. I dedicate this summer 2013 blog to these endearing little souls of which I know very little about but I will rely on the bee guru to teach me all there is to know. Drop me a line, and holler if you want to know something at firstname.lastname@example.org