Sunday, October 07, 2007

Look Into My Eyes; You are Feeling Very Sleepy

Very soon, the only voice you will hear is mine. You will be very relaxed and feel happy. Nothing can hurt you, you are safe. Just follow my voice. Very good.

Now you will be open to everything I have to say about bees. There will be no memories of childhood trauma or confusion with wasps to cloud you from the growing feeling of affection you are already starting to feel for bees. There is no fear. Only the sound of my voice. You are safe, calm and relaxed. Good.

Bees are wonderful, they are industrious, they make honey and beeswax, pollinate flowers, trees and shrubs and provide many other hive products that science is still discovering uses for. They are a very rewarding hobby and can induce a calm state of relaxed focus for those who work with them. And they are equally necessary for the health of the agricultural industry and the health of your backyard.

Now the impact of a hobby beekeeper on the ag industry is nearly nil, but as years have gone by and disease, pest problems, predators and chemical contamination have nearly decimated the wild honeybee population, the home beekeeper makes a positive contribution to the smaller ecosystem and gets lots in return. So lets talk a little about a hive, since you are beginning to feel like you really want one and want to know all about it. That's right. Happy friendly bee house. Yes, you are doing very well.

"Hive" is a word that can stand for 2 things, either the mass of the bees themselves, or the system of boxes they are kept in. Lets talk about the boxes. First, you find that beekeeping can be a woodworking project as assembly is required (unless you pay a much higher price) for almost all the hive parts. But that's ok, because with basic skills and hand tools, you soon are feeling really satisfied with yourself for building beautiful boxes and frames. You are now feeling like an artist, and decide to paint the outside of your hive boxes with pretty light colors (especially if you live in the south) and maybe some designs so your friends, the bees, will have a pretty home. You find a good place to set up your hive where your friends will have a little protection from extremes of weather and where you will be able to have access to all sides of the house when you visit your bee friends. Friendly bees. Good, good.

But where are our friends, you ask? You can get bees from several different sources, and sometimes they will mail you a 2 or 3 pound box of bees. Poor mailman! He will not understand as you do that bees are good, that the sound they are making is a good sound, a happy sound. He doesn't understand, as you do, that the bees like to crawl on the screen sides of the box, so it only looks like the box is crammed full of bees. He will not understand why you want a box of bees, but you should be nice to the mailman, because he doesn't know how to be happy like you do. Calm and happy. Then you put them in their house and they fly and visit flowers and make honey and wax and you are very, very happy with your bees. You are doing very well.

Now that we all love bees and want some, it is time to start building their house and reading bee books and looking for other bee-friendly people who live nearby and to start gathering equipment. Because not only are bees good and friendly, they are smart and can protect themselves quite well on their own. This thought does not scare you, and you are feeling good. Now because you are smart and understand this, you will always wear your protective equipment to be sure there are no unfortunate mistakes on behalf of your friends. Just as you should not run or jump down a set of stairs because you might get hurt, you should not approach your friends without protection. Even if you see other people do this and allow the bees to sting them, you will show your bees more respect and dress for the occasion. Poor bees die when they sting , and you don't want your friends to meet that end! So you will feel confident if you know you are protecting them by learning to visit them safely. You are doing so very well. And you are feeling really good about bees. You have no fear, you want to learn more. When I count to three I want you to wake. You will feel refreshed and calm, and you will want to learn more about bees and beekeeping. You have done very well.

1, 2, 3!


Janice in GA said...

Bees and chickens. I'd love to keep both. But it probably won't happen in this lifetime. :(

funfairiegirl said...

My great grandfather kept bees. Bees I am ok with. honey. wax. goooood.

Knit Witch said...

Bees are amazing little creatures. Hobby bee keepers are becoming more and more important with all the trials and tribulations the honey bees have been facing lately!!!

jenifleur said...

Although I do not like honey, I love bees. I'm told bees and guineas don't mix as the guineas learn to sit at the apiary with their mouths open, but it bears further research.

I once read, and I wish I could remember where, that bees use electricity for communication and a large hive generates enough to run a television. How cool is that? SO. COOL!

Debbie said...

Oh, I love to watch bees!

Can I come over one day and see your chickens and bees? I'll be good, I promise.