Earlier this week, for preparation for the practical aspect of my beekeeping exam, I opened up the hive for practice.  I had hoped to get a full inspection in but it was getting too cold for them and I had to cut it short and did not get a chance to see all the frames.  The amount of bees in the hive was a little intimidating too.  Ideally the inspections should be carried out in the middle of the day when all the flying bees are out and about foraging.  So the weekend and in good weather are ideal, not when I get home from work with the threat of passing rain showers.  I must admit that when I am standing beside other beekeepers who are experienced, the amount of flying bees and bees crawling all over me during an inspection does not bother me.  However, it is a different thing when I am on my own.  When it is just me against about thirty five thousand bees it is a little too easy for me to think they are getting angry when they are only just getting a little miffed.

nice picture of a hive inspection by badly drawn dad

One thing did amuse me when I was looking into the hive; a visitor.  For a few years now I have trying to de-soften myself.  I used to have an aversion to handling raw meat, but now I think I could easily dispatch and prepare one of the chickens if they stopped laying (they are still young and therefore safe).  I used to hate the taste of fish, but now I eat it four times a week and the guys at the market fish stall sometimes feed me a small bite of breakfast with their ‘experiments’.  Years ago, if I heard the buzz of a wasp I would dance manically and run, now I stand my ground and try and get a curious good look at the little predator.  But the instinct of fear always seems to kick in, if only momentarily, when I see a bumble bee.  They are said to quite gentle but they are a little erratic in my mind.  So there I was with my head over the hive having a good look at the frames and a bumble bee appears in my vision and I suddenly become more alert, “ahh, a bee”.  It must have been attracted by the sweet aroma of the hive being opened and been curious about all the fuss.  My reaction was surprise and the wariness began to kick in until I had to catch myself on.  There I was in a full beekeeping suit with thousands of bees infront of me and hundreds in the air around me.  Why should I worry about one little humble bee bumbling its way about.