I’ve got a hive! It is only wee but it is buzzing with activity. We’ve been wanting to keep bees since we moved here but there always seemed to be a long list of projects that took priority. Little things like heat, clean water, a new roof, renovating 11,000 square feet, and starting a new business stole most of our attention the last few years. It took the bees a while before they got to the top of our list.
Our project list was intentionally lighter for 2017, so I signed up for a bee keeping workshop. The workshop is being run by my neighbour Gavin, who is a master bee keeper and runs Honey Pie Hives and Herbals with his wife Bay. The workshops are once a month for 6 months. I’ve only completed two workshops, and look at me, I already have bees! Really I haven’t done much since I got my bees, as I am not suppose to open the hive for another two weeks. Bees have been taking care of themselves for centuries so I’m quite sure they are not waiting for instructions from me.
I have to admit that my sweet tooth was partially my inspiration to keep bees, but after a few hours of observation, I am finding them quite fascinating. During our workshop, Gavin opened one of his hives so we could have a look inside. We discussed bee living while hundreds of bees flew around us. I really wanted to take some photos, so I bravely yet cautiously took my glove off to snap some shots of pollen legs. Bees have an arrangement of hairs on their hind legs that is referred to as a pollen basket. When bees collect pollen, they mix it with their saliva and pack it in the hairs on their back legs so they can transport it back to their hive. The result is some chunky bee legs in the colour of the flowers they were harvesting. I’ve been in the bee dark most of my life and had never seen such colourful bee legs before.
I came home Sunday night with a box full of buzzing bees in my back seat. I drove real slow, and rolled through every stop sign as a few bees had escaped their box and were buzzing around in my van. Once I got home, I suited up and Jess lit my smoker for me. I kept my cool, and the transition from bee box to bee hive was a smooth one. Now I just have to wait for the honey to roll in.