Sep 7th. 2016

What’s the buzz about?

My evening with the bees

It’s safe to say, I was mostly looking forward to the sight of myself in a full blown beekeeper costume (and of course, the ‘ Instagramable’ moments I was certain I would have that close to a hive!) but, it turns out that learning about bees was something I wish I had done sooner.

We all arrived at The Skip Garden on a warm Summer’s evening, eager to learn, albeit slightly nervous knowing we would be very close to 5000 buzzers who wouldn’t think twice about stinging us to protect their home. We started with a short theory session lead by Brian the Beekeeper, who told us all about pollination, the important relationship between bees and plants and what we could expect from our evening with the Queen and her faithful workers. I enjoyed listening and asking questions – I had no idea just how intelligent bees (especially Honey Bees) are and the nerd in me found enjoyment in all this newfound knowledge.

Next up – the much anticipated bee suits! We all ‘suited up’ from head to toe including protective gloves and made our way up a wooden ladder to the hive on the roof. Even a few steps away from the hive, you could hear the busy bees hard at work… Brian lifted off the layers of the hive piece by piece and it wasn’t long until we spotted the Queen herself – reigning casually over her bustling kingdom. All the theory we had learnt a bit earlier in the evening could now be applied as we saw the bees in action – and what a wonderful way to learn!

For me, the highlight was seeing the waggle dance – bees use this to communicate precise messages to each other and it was incredible to see. They work closely together, sharing the load and all for the same purpose – perhaps humans could learn a few things from our furry, stripey friends.

All in all, I learnt so much and will think twice now about panicking when a bee lands on my drink… I have a newfound respect for bees and a little bond I forged that evening when they kindly let me into their busy home.

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Written by Sian Charlish