May 1, 2010

I haven't inspected my hive yet. I keep facing weather that I've learned is not the most conducive for doing inspections in. Apparently when it is windy, rainy, cloudy, the bees tend to be more aggressive. All I need to do is get through the first inspection and I know I will be fine. It is this fear of the unknown that is killing me.

I grew up with this intense fear of bees. Having seen the movie "the swarm" when I was 7 and then being stung when I was 8 just didn't make for a love of stinging insects. Although I don't have the intense phobia that I once did I still have this ingrained nasty reaction to anything that flies. If it lands on me, without thinking or checking first, I always shake whatever part of my body the thing landed on to get whatever it is off. It could be a lady bug and yes, I will react that badly, only to feel like a complete idiot later. To be even more pathetic I react this way to things that aren't even insects. A piece of string dangling in view but not yet identified as string will make me jump. I know, I'm a moron.

I had someone watch over me when I hived my first package and I have the option of having him come back to look over me when I do my first inspection as well but I really don't want to. This is something I really really want to accomplish on my own.

I know everyone who reads this will wonder why I ever chose to keep bees if I'm not 100% confident around them. My only explanation, I honestly love bees. I love everything about them. I could have sat in class at the University listening to Marla and Gary talk about bees for days and never get bored. They are fascinating creatures and I feel honored to have them living in my backyard. I'm not all about the honey and beeswax, though that would be a bonus if I manage to keep my babies alive through the winter, I'm in it solely for the education. I want to learn about these fascinating insects more than anything. I want to face up to my irrational anxieties about them and see if I can become an accomplished beekeeper.
Gareth said...

Just wanted to offer a word of encouragement. My wife and I started 2 hives last year and I was pretty nervous to work with them in the beginning. As the summer went on and I got more used to them, every inspection was a wonderful event. I did feel a little aprehensive during the first inspection this spring- but by the time I was finished I was used to the buzzing all around me. Now the hive inspections are one of my greatest stress relievers. Good luck- you'll be great!

Jared said...

I have 4 hives and am still not 100% confident. The worst thing that can happen is you get stung or your hive could die off... Everything else is manageable. Try going out by the hive and just standing behind it. The bees should not mind. You will have to get used to them, like they will to you!

Keep in mind I have 3 hives on my back deck right by the house. I go out and sit at the table with no gear on and just watch them. They will not mess with you unless you mess with them or get in their flight path to and from home.

Michelle said...

Thanks Jared for the advice! It is always helpful.

Today will be inspection day. It looks like the weather is going to hold up for now (sunny, not too windy). Of course, dreamt about bees chasing me all night. LOL!

Michelle said...

Thank you so much Gareth! I appreciate you taking the time to post words of encouragement. I'm needing all I can get at this point. I know I'll probably feel silly after the first inspection for being so scared. I always manage to get myself into a tizzy over things that I really shouldn't. Can't wait to post and share pictures of the first opening of the hive since install.

Rusty said...

After many years I still get edgy before an inspection, but I'm not afraid of the bees. I'm afraid for them. There is so much that can go wrong with a hive and I don't want to be the cause of it. I think apprehension, no matter what the cause, is sort of natural in beekeeping. I think it's great that you are doing this and thinking about it in a logical way. You and your bees will do fine.

Michelle said...

Thank you Rusty! Your advice and your kind words mean a great deal to me. Thanks for helping!