Saturday, February 6, 2010
My new mantra. I am NOT afraid of bees, I am NOT afraid of bees, I am NOT afraid of bees....
Actually, I really am not terribly afraid of bees. Wasps, yes. Yellow jackets, paper wasps, hornets... I am totally and abjectly terrified of those things. But honeybees and bumblebees are nothing to be afraid of. They aren't aggressive, they are beautiful, and everything they do is beneficial to us. In fact, we likely couldn't survive without them.
Which, as I'm sure y'all already know, is a big big problem, because they are disappearing fast. Some ideas are beginning to emerge regarding Colony Collapse Disorder (ARS : Questions and Answers: Colony Collapse Disorder) and the research tends to implicate certain pesticides as well as mites and other diseases. But definitive answers are still far away, and certainly a cure is nowhere on the immediate horizon.
CCD has not been a major problem where I live, so far. I hope that it will not affect ..... my NEW BEEHIVES!!!!!! Yes, it's true. I decided not to wait another year but to bite the bullet, gird up my loins, put on my big-girl panties (pick your silly metaphor) and order some bees. I asked on Craigslist for a mentor, and found a nice guy who lives just down the road and is happy to help me get started. I have to clean out my old hives (which I bought off Craigslist a few months ago) and get them in shape to accept my bees, which should arrive in late March or early April.
Today is my trial by fire - the neighbor is going to open up his own hives and check things out and he invited me to come watch. I have a hat with a veil and long gloves, but I need a set of zip-up coveralls. I'll be very very proud of myself if I get through today without a galloping case of willies. Or at least if I can keep the willies under wraps. Like, not scream like a little girl and run away. I think I can hold myself to that standard.
Unless a bee gets inside my face veil.