My dad is taking up bee keeping, and the bees, about 3 pounds of them, has arrived today. I was reading the "Bee Keeping for Dummies" book, and came across interesting bee keeping facts:
- Drone bees eat a lot, are lazy and are there to mate, 200-300 feet in the air, and then die. At the end of the season, they are literally kicked out of the hive
- If a good water source is not kept, bees will raid the neighbor's birdfeeders, hose faucets and pools
- Bees can produce about 100 pounds of honey a season
- Honeybees are usually "sweet and gentle" away from their hive
- Making mead takes about 32 pounds of honey
So the Bees are here....unfathomable amounts of bees.
I am officially terrified and paranoid.
The crates above house about 12,000 bees. Twelve thousand. Which means, minus bee deaths, we have about 24,000 of them.
The idea of that many bees, along with the idea of more over the summer makes me panicked and paranoid at the very thought.
I watched my dad shake out one of these crates into the built hives and it was, as my brother put it "like shaking out a box of cereal." Thousands of bees poured into the hives in enormous clumps.
It was enough to make a person run in the other direction. As a person who's been terrified of things that sting her entire life, I'm surprised I got close enough to take these pictures. Dozens of bees buzzed around the area as they acclimated to their new homes. All around. Everywhere. Terrifying.
"Bees can smell fear." I pointed out, when I was told I needed to get closer to get a better picture. I would have none of this. (A random Simpson's quote came to mind, which roughly goes: Oh, yeah, what are you gonna do? Release the dogs? Or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouth and when they bark, they shoot bees at you?")
The loud hum of buzzing was enough to make me run away, and as a bee flew by close enough to buzz in my ear, I jumped back, declared I had enough of this, and went inside, twitching and slapping my arms and neck at the phantom bees.
On the plus side, my brother said we should be getting about a cup and a half of honey a day when things really get going, so, I guess, all things considered, that isn't too bad.
So now I'm inside, obviously, after a second journey out, when I watched my dad pour in the bees into their hives. He dropped the crate! A big no-no. So I'm here, writing about my paranoid experience waiting for them to calm down, because I'd be pretty miffed too if someone dropped my temporary home, when I was hot, tired, and hungry after a long journey in a crate.