There is a bee hive on the very tip top of the hundred-plus year old building across the street from my shop. If you stand in my doorway you can see them busily working. Among the ornate swirls of wood, they have made their home. I have always had a fondness for Victorian architecture myself, can’t say I blame them. Throughout the year we help them detour out of our shop. Enticed, no doubt, by one hundred different types of herbs and the essential oils used in the beauty products, they come in for a sniff of the lotion or to seek an unexpected flower. They always end back up by the window desperately trying to make their retreat. Using a saucer and a paper cup I ease them into the vessel and set them back on track outdoors. They have never stung us or any of our customers. They just want to get back to work!
Homeowners and shop owners call in the companies that guarantee your yard will be beautiful and sheepishly place those little yellow flags with the woman and child and dog with a slash through them (that doesn’t mean keep off the grass, it means it will kill you!); they usually have no idea what harm they are doing. Doug was guilty of this himself, bringing in Weed and Feed trying to keep up with the neighbors in our old neighborhood. We just didn’t realize the impact of such a simple thing. Weed and Feed is available everywhere this time of year. It does cause cancer and upper respiratory ailments in humans as well as wipes out birds and butterflies and lady bugs and….bees. The lady who owns the building next to my shop loves to spray her yard. There are always little yellow warning flags that the bees missed scattered throughout. And at least three dead bees a day in front of my doorstep. Many times the bees are disoriented and wander aimlessly in front of my store as if looking for directions to get across the street before their demise. I could make myself crazy with thoughts of the Colony Collapse Disorder and all the Weed and Feeds on the market. I could picket the girl next door. Or I could combat this in a positive way. By getting a bee hive.
Luckily for me, my friends are going to help me. Bryan just built me a beautiful bee hive to house the new family. His seventeen year old brother, Brett, has been giving me a bee tutorial. Since I learn by watching and doing, he will have to come back and walk me through it! He keeps telling me, “Order your bees, or you’re not going to have any!” I finally have the cash today so I will get online and order a family of bees with an Italian queen. Feels rather medieval. Brett is teaching me organic beekeeping. I will not take too much honey so not to break into the bees’ store for winter. I will let them flit to and fro from plant to plant and not scream and run when I see them. I will not be afraid of bees on masse. I am sure it will take a minute to get used to standing among hundreds of bees but my love for them will hopefully conquer any fears! Only .01% of the population actually has reaction to bee stings and I am not among that number. I am just a bit of a baby when it comes to pain. But saving the honey bee in any way I can is more important to me! Offering a safe home to them in an area that doesn’t use many pesticides (love this town…it’s not the same town my shop is in) is going to be great and they in turn will pollinate my trees and garden. I’ll keep you posted on this venture!