A short article describing something funny/humorous related to bees or beekeeping.
|Following a study group for Module 2 where we discussed pollination and the structure of flowers I went to a supermarket and was looking at the flowers they were selling.
After a while an assistant came up to me to ask if I needed any help.
I said ‘I’m just looking for the nectaries’.
He said ‘I think you will find them in the fruit section next to the peaches.’
|The joys of being a gopher
You love nature, he said, you want to be an environmentalist, he said, join me in being a beekeeper, he said. You can be my helper! he said, you will love it, he said. So, I did. I joined and became a beekeeper too like him. I went to classes; to the training apiary and learned from the experts; those who have experience; those who know most things and those who just enjoy the experience. I learned lots. But no-one taught me to be the gopher. Beekeeper yes. Gopher no!!
So,e we got the lot, suits, hives, smoker, gloves etc, etc, etc (watch the pound signs rise here!)
Then the bees, arrived -a swarm from a friend. Before he went to collect the swarm, it was, go for this, he said, go for that, he said, don’t forget this, he said, don’t forget that! I get the picture, I said.
I was busy. He phoned to say he was on his way with the swarm. Be ready with the video camera to capture it all, he said, for prosperity, he said. Go for it he said. So, I did.
I was on the drive, video running in hand as he drew up. I recorded it all, the humping and sweating, the swearing and cussing. The carefully folded blanket unfurling fluttering in the hot sunshine. Following behind the fully suited and booted beekeeper, with my arms out stretched filming the adventure with the odd bees buzzing busily around. I noticed my hand, then my arm and my bare feet in my sandals and my legs in my shorts. Mmm! Thought I, go for the camera he said, go for the wide angles, he said, capture it all, he said. He said nothing about go for your suit! So I stopped and the dog and I went back indoors and tried to brush the bees from our hair, our clothes.
The next time it was go for something, I asked for more explicit instructions and reasons why!!
|As a fairly novice beekeeper I heed the warnings of folk like Richard and Matt with a good degree of diligence and try not to fall into the common mistakes of beekeepers but as we all know, when we are rushed, it is easy to forget. On this particular day, I was rushing…
It was shortly before I needed to collect the boys from school but I calculated I had time so I threw on my beekeeper suit, gloves, lit the smoker and strode down to check on a hive which had been giving me concern. The familiar buzz welcomed me and there were bees all around and a quick inspection revealed the bees were getting stronger in number, so I scraped the top of the super and brood box edges and replaced the crownboard and roof. Smiling to myself, I walked back to the cottage swinging my arms in happiness and pride that I was becoming a better beekeeper.
I can only think it came with me swinging my arms joyfully, but I somehow managed to get propolis from the tool or my gloves stuck on my beekeeper suit bottom. I had been warned of how sticky and difficult to remove this was from beekeeper gloves. I saw the clump of nature’s own super glue on my rear and knew I hadn’t got time to properly remove it. I picked off what I could then had the idea that I could stick cellotape over it to ‘seal’ it until I had more time to deal with it. I jumped into the car still wearing the suit (minus the veil), to pick up the children up, my mind already working on what I could cobble together for dinner. The fuel light was on. No trouble. I had time to fill up at the pump.
As the fuel pumped, my mind continued to wander when I noticed a gentleman looking at my bottom.
As a middle aged lady my bottom is larger than I would like and I am not accustomed to people staring at it. He gestured and said “there’s something on your bottom”, tapping his own as if to reinforce the point. The cellotape was now part unstuck (not the part on the super sticky propolis) and was flapping like a flag in the breeze of the forecourt.
I smiled, thanked him for pointing it out and said “I know, it’s cellotape to stop the propolis staining everything!”
He looked confused. I considered whether a more lengthy explanation was appropriate, but I ran out of time. I added “from my bees!” beamed at him and drove to school.
I waited in the car for the children that afternoon – after all, who wants their mum collecting them wearing a beekeeper suit with propolis and cellotape on her bottom?
It was the summer I was due to be married. A few weeks before the big day, following the final fitting, I brought my wedding dress home to my parents’ bungalow. I tried it on in the back bedroom and called my Mum to come and look. Mum came through from the kitchen where she was extracting honey. I can’t remember what she said but I think she was a bit shocked to see her jeans-and-a-jumper kind of a daughter in a wedding dress! What I do remember clearly was the shriek she let out on returning to the kitchen and her alarmed shout, “Don’t come through here in that dress!” I changed as quickly as I could (the dress had many small buttons down the back) and went to see what had happened. When I called her away, Mum had left the extractor draining into a bucket. Honey had silently filled the bucket, silently overflowed down the sides, and was spreading silently across the kitchen floor! By the time I had changed and gone to see, Mum was on her hands and knees trying to scoop up honey from the floor with a dustpan and fish-slice!
That was 30 years ago, now I am a beekeeper. But that sticky scene has been etched onto my memory. Call it my OCD if you wish, but I always, without exception, watch my golden harvest flowing silently into the bucket. I never, ever turn my back on honey running from the extractor – not for anything; not to answer the door, not to pick up the phone, not to put the kettle on, nothing!