What’s the latest buzz? Our honey bees are doing ok this summer. Both Shae and I have been bitten by the honey bee bug! Seven or eight years ago, if you had told me that I would have honey bees, I would have told you that you were crazy. Yet, from our first box of bees, I have been fascinated by these little buggers. They are simply amazing. I’m wishing now that I would have gotten into beekeeping 30 years ago.
We have collected some honey over the last few years, but I have also had to buy my fair share since this journey began. Our main goal was to have honey bees for pollination. Any honey would be a bonus. Our short summers and long Minnesota winters don’t seem to be ideal. We’ve had failures, but we are learning from them.
We have been trying to keep two colonies each year. Starting last summer, I decided to take a more hands-off approach with our bees. This was very difficult for me, as I had been so interested in looking in the hives to learn more about the bees. Anyway, I quit bugging them. We even chose not to cover or insulate them last winter. When Spring arrived, one hive had survived; the other did not.
On Wednesday, I couldn’t take it any longer. I felt like I just had to check on them. I was hoping the bees had produced enough honey to make it through the winter ahead. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm, and quiet evening. I suited-up and made my way to the beehive. The first couple of minutes went very well. Then all of a sudden, their dispositions changed. They didn’t like me rummaging through their house. With the bees so agitated, I decided to put their home back together and leave them alone. Before I could complete this task, one of them found my ear lobe pressing against my veil. The swelling has since subsided. Guess I’ll go back to my hands-off approach. Ya, right.