This week the children came running to the house as excited as could be to tell us, “The bees are in the tree!”
This tree to be exact. And they were so excited because we are first time bee keepers. We started this year with 2 packages of bees and two hives. It’s a little nerve racking to be quite honest, not because they are dangerous but because they see so delicate. I am mean lets face it, we have all heard the rumors and facts–bees are in trouble. And they are in trouble on many fronts. One of course is the environmental affects they no one seems to be quite able to pinpoint but there is also the problem of perception.
Many many Americans have little to no connection to the outdoors and anything related to it is scary. Bugs are one very scary element of the outdoors and ones that have the potential to sting even more so. Let me illustrate, we were at a family gathering and I was telling one of the aunts about our new hives. She said, “aren’t you worried about the children?” I am worried about the children I am worried they will grow up in a world without bees to be quite honest.
When we were still residents of St. Paul we discovered that you could legally keep bees inside the city limits. But after going through all the paperwork for our chicken permit (which included going door to door to ask our neighbors permission to keep chickens) we knew it was very unlikely we would actually be able to get bees. So we are learning about them now.
I admit I was one of those bug haters. Then one day I was working weeding the vegetables and I heard the familiar buzzing that used to bring fear, but now I understood without those bees I wouldn’t have tomatoes or cucumbers, or eggplant or you name it. That doesn’t even get into a world without honey.
Still Proeun is the beekeeper in the family, though Two is begging for a suit and I would actually like one as well, or at least the hat and gloves like Proeun is wearing. Here he checks the entrance to the hive to make sure it is clear while some bees hitch a ride. I told him, make sure you take your hat off before you go inside.
Here he feeds the bees sugar water since not too many of the plants are flowering yet. They have already started producing beautiful creamy white wax, the likes of which I have never seen. Yes I am thinking I am really going to enjoy this.