The Bee Whisperer - Move slowly and think positive thoughts

Tending the bees and the hives has been a lot of fun and people were starting to call me the bee whisperer because I could go in the hives with no protective gear and I have, to date, never been stung. Although that is not about me. Domesticated honey bees are pretty docile. If you move slow and think positive thoughts they will leave you along. They really don't want to sting. unless they absolutely have to. Partially because if a bee stings it dies. It is a final act for a honey bee - a sacrificing of self for the good of the whole.

But the last time I opened this one particular hive they were very aggressive. Nothing I could do about it. I just had to give them time, smoke them a lot, and pretty much leave them along. The hive was stressed and I could feel it. Not stressed because of me but because of other reasons. It happens for a wide variety of things.

Well, we recently opened that hive up to take a look (in the middle of winter) and it was dead. The bees curled up into a large mass in one corner of the hive and just ceased to be.

It had an effect on me - to just look at them dead and curled up in the corner. Part of this must be my fault. Was I not a good steward? Part of this is other factors. Hives get old, the queen gets old, she can't lay enough eggs. Hives die all the time. But I still felt awful.

The thing about a beehive is that it is a living thing. It is difficult to describe. It is not a single bees. It is not a collection of thousands of bees. It is a hive of bees. A thing living unto itself - a presence and a life. The collective of thousands of bees make a single thing, a single presence and it can be felt as such. The bees become a single entity.

Hmmm... After reading that I think to myself "maybe I am a bee whisperer?" But I know that if you raised bees you would feel it too. It really isn't me. I just move slowly and think positive thoughts.

So, I say goodbye to that hive and thank you for the gift of your honey.



I do have lots of stuff about bees, honey and mead on my website. Including pictures and videos: Bees, Honey and Mead



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Will Kalif 2007          Will Kalif 2008             

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