This weekend we picked up our new bees. We drove to the house of the beekeeper who had prepared the hive for us, near Mt Dandenong, and strapped the hive full of bees on the roof rack then drove straight down to the farm. On Saturday we put on our bee suits and opened up the hive to have a look inside.
Note the bee patch on Lillian’s suit.
Lillian found the whole exercise fascinating, particularly finding the queen bee in the midst of thousands of bees. She spent much time on the weekend watching bees and rescuing struggling bees from the dish of water we’d put out for them. Then with careful observation we figured out that mostly the bees were flying straight down to the dam. We walked down and found that they were drinking at a particular shallow spot on the dam’s edge. Lillian also picked flowers and carefully placed them near the entrance of the hive, though the bees didn’t seem interested in those ones.
The fellow who sold us the bees said they were especially docile. That appeared to be true. Even when we were deep in their hive they seemed to be pretty much ignoring us. One or two tried to sting me on the gloves. Lillian spent quite a bit of time playing beside the hive without the slightest annoyance from any bees. Many people are scared of bees thinking they’re likely to sting you at any moment. We’re quickly learning that bees mostly mind their own business and will only sting you if you are actively threatening them. One reason they don’t want to sting you is that they die as soon as they do.
By the time we left on Sunday, it seemed like the bees had found the apple blossoms and were busy gathering pollen and nectar. So there will I expect be plenty more installments on the topic of bees.
Today Lillian got up and drew this picture:
Seems to echo the photo above, which she had seen. Note the little yellow bees flying around.