Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bee bits...

The 'bee lady' came the other day for the first time. Lee - or Leigh?  Such a nice person. She wanted to check the hive for possible disease, introduce a new Queen and remove some of the honey built up at the hive's previous location.

I know nothing about bee keeping so it was an opportunity to ask beginners' questions like "what does the smoke do?" (answer, subdues the bees) and "what do I do if I get stung?" (as I was, twice, in the head - answer, wait and see if you get an allergic reaction. I didn't, but it felt like one of those 'yeah, right' moments!). Apparently women make good bee keepers. They are gentle.

The new Queen came in a little, plastic container. I missed the removal of the old Queen and am not sure what happened to her. An ousting. Lee pointed out the bees arriving back at the hive, their little legs heavy with pollen - some yellow, some cream. I wondered if the cream pollen came from the Tree Lucerne or Tagasaste, currently in full flower and a favourite of the kereru.

There is much about the honey-making process that I don't yet understand. What intrigues me is that 40,000+ creatures can interact within such a small space, act beneficially in the environment and produce a desirable, natural product. Much we humans could learn from that! I wonder what it must be like when all 40,000 are in residence - at night or during the snow. Snug and warm no doubt.

A week or so after Lee's visit I spent the evening trying to remove a bee sting from Tabby's nose! I think it was a sting. The proximity of the bees is going to cause some problems - especially in summer when doors and windows are open and the house is added to the fly-zone! 


  1. So so fascinating. But beestings. Ouch. Enough to tell me I'll continue to admire those who have hives with utmost respect and from a distance!

    Especially after a bumblebee sting I got a month or so ago on the bridge of my nose while weeding in my front yard. I intended to blog about it, but got too far behind. So many other interesting things to write about.

    Keep us updated on your beekeeping!

  2. Hmmm - bridge of the nose is a worrisome place. Glasses... vanity...pain :-(

  3. And shocking in the moment :-)---it got stuck between my glasses and my eye---I broke my glasses in the dancing and throwing that followed---thankfully I'm not allergic---didn't swell to speak of---but it did hurt like crazy---it was the day I left for Lake Junaluska---trying to get the garden in order before I left---had to delay departure by a couple of hours while optician repaired glasses.

    Will you have beesting stories? Two in the head is worthy of mention!

  4. Oh my goodness - what a place to be stung! I guess there is no flesh there to swell. I understand the 'dancing'. Thought I was pretty laid back and cool about the bees, prospect of stings etc - but when they got into my hair I really lost it.

  5. hehe you be careful AJ! Once one stings it sets the others off in a stinging frenzy. I always got stung between the eyes and it swelled to the point where I looked like some sort of alien. :)

    EQC inspector coming today. I'm spose to be tidying the house!! We've got an inch of snow. Very pretty :)

  6. Thanks Niki :-/ No one will visit me now!!

    How did you go with the inspector?? No snow here this time - but I could see it low on the foothills & waved in your direction!

  7. There were two inspectors and it took them two hours to go over EVERY INCH of the house. :( I hadn't cleaned the bathroom, but I'm sure they've seen worse :)

    They didn't leave until after 6pm. The pressure is on to have all inspections completed by Christmas.