You know those people at parties and gatherings that everyone is talking to? That person that always has a plethora of knowledge on every topic (Not the know-it-all that thinks they know it all, but the person that actually does) and seems to be interested in things you've never heard of? Well, I dream of being that person. It probably makes me less mysterious and cool to admit that, but there it is.
To be honest, I wasn't thrilled when my husband started to become interested in bees.
No, thank you!
My brother-in-law had a swarm of bees swarm at his house so he got hive boxes and caught them. Someone he knew kept bees and helped him set up. From there he did his research and has kept the hive and has even added hives (He's up to five!). At family gatherings he would talk about the bees and my husband started to become very interested. Again, I didn't pay much attention because I DID NOT want bees. However, after a few more conversations I started to see how incredible these creatures are. Add Pinterest to the mix, with all the ideas for honey and beeswax, and I was in!
So for birthdays and Christmas, my husband asked for supplies and equipment. This last Christmas I bought him the boxes for our hive. We ordered our bees instead of trying to catch or trap a swarm. Catching a swarm could result in your bees being able to withstand local weather conditions better but there is no guarantee that you will catch a swarm. Plus, just because you catch a swarm doesn't mean they are "native" to the area. Swarms leave hives for different reasons, including overcrowding in the hive, so you could just be catching someone else's bought bees. (See, isn't that interesting?!) Anyway, this post isn't about setting up our hive. I'm saving that for another post.
Back to the post's title question, "Why bees?"
I recently read in an article, "I always tell beginners in my workshops, there is only one real reason to keep bees, and that is because they are fascinating. If you just want honey, make friends with a beekeeper," -a beekeeper in Australia who goes by Adrian the Bee Man
This quote hit the nail on the head for me. Bees are intriguing! There is so much that I've learned about these tiny creatures already and still so much more for me to learn. For example, did you know that the temperament of the hive is dependent on the queen? If you have an aggressive queen, then you will have an aggressive hive. If your hive isn't producing as much as you'd like, it could be because your queen isn't pushing the hive to work hard enough. Sound familiar? If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! So what do you do if you don't like the hive's behavior? Get rid of the queen so that the hive makes a new one! A little ruthless, but such is nature.
The older I get the more I feel like an attractive person is not just someone with good looks, but someone that is intelligent, thought-provoking, and a little mysterious. An attractive person is someone that keeps learning and taking on new adventures. It's the person at the party that can talk about things you've never heard of or thought about. So I said, "Yes," to bees as a way to enrich my life with a new and interesting adventure and I hope to share this adventure with you.