Monday, November 10, 2014
watching a bee hatch
Late yesterday afternoon while visiting one of our hives we watched a bee hatching.
It had been one of those messy mornings when the girls wanted to do anything else but farming and be anywhere else but outside, and I felt disappointed and took it personally and found it difficult to give up the idyllic picture I'd had in my head of how we'd spend the day. But eventually I did give up and after an hour or so of broad-bean picking and shelling, we went our three separate ways; one into town, one to my parents' house and us three to visit the bees.
Even though we've had our own bee hives now for a few years, I still mostly feel like a beginner bee-keeper. It's like when we put on our suits, light the smoker and crack open the first hive, we enter a whole other world. And even though I'm not really scared of being stung, I am constantly aware of doing the right thing by the bees. Often I don't even realise until we come home and get our bee gear off how filled with adrenaline I've been. Bees are buzzy and their hives vibrate with activity and by opening them up we are exposing them and you can feel their tension. And we've noticed that different hives seem to have different personalities. We have one particular one that always feels frantic while some of the others are much calmer.
Late yesterday afternoon we visited one of our calmer hives. We cracked open the lid, slowly pulled out a few frames to see what was going on, and on one of the frames closer to the centre we found a bee hatching out of its cell.
It was such an incredible experience to see it nibble its way out of the capping. First came the feelers, waving around and then the head. After a bit more wriggling it went back inside and turned around and tried again from a different direction. And then the whole bee wandered out. A brand new, light grey coloured bee.
What a buzz!! It felt like such a privilege watching that bee's story unfold.
All three of us were so excited about what we had just witnessed as we closed the hive up, collected the honey frames we had swapped from another hive and drove up to the house.
And later on as I heard Miss Pepper tell the story of the hatching baby bee first to her grandparents and then to each of her sisters, I realised that it was OK that they hadn't wanted to come along. This is their world, they are SURROUNDED by bee keeping and veggie growing and bio dynamic stirring on all sides. It makes sense that they need some time out, that they need to find their own passions, and it makes sense that they just want to socialise on their weekends too. I just hope Miss Pepper remains our farm loving, animal cuddling, bee-keeping girl for many years to come.
Check out this link if you want to see some great pictures and info about the bee's life cycle.
And may your news be good news.
Lots of love