World Bee Day

Bee on onion flower, M Noffke.

I am taking the opportunity on World Bee Day to share personally about bees. I have a special fondness for bees as they were a part of my life growing up. My parents owned enough land to raise chickens and bees. It was a carefree wild existence for a child growing up. We also had a couple of blue gums, a mulberry tree, lemons, figs, grapes and guavas. My mother and father agreed to differ on gardening so my father was in charge of the back garden, where they grew vegetables, and my mother organized the front garden, where they grew flowers. That was how they found a compromise in working together.

When they bought the land they invested in bee suits, smoker and all the equipment, along with the beehive so that they could have their own honey. Here is a lovely YouTube video: How to Harvest Honey! | Beekeeping with Maddie #12 for you to watch. It explains exactly what collecting honey entails and how to do it. It is both entertaining and informative.

My parents had taught me not to cross the path of where the bees enter their hive and also advised me not to go near if I had just washed my hair. Apparently they don’t like strong smells, including carrot tops broken off the carrots. My mother discovered that the hard way. When my father died my mother continued keeping bees and chickens. One year, something disturbed or angered the bees and they stung all our chickens. When a bee stings it leaves it’s sting behind and dies so there were thousands of dead bees on the ground and literally thousands of stings in the chickens legs, crowns and faces. It was a sight for sore eyes. My mother did something quite out of the ordinary. She gathered up all her chickens and took them to the vet. His remark was that he had never attempted to save chickens before but he would try. He administered antihistamines to them all and all were saved except for one.

  • Just to let you know in case you are not aware: bees are so important to our existence as they are an integral part of our food chain. Without them we will not have fruit and vegetables. These little insects add such value to our lives.
  • On a metaphorical level, like the bee: no matter how small a role you might play in contributing to humanity, your life and actions matter. You have the ability to add honey to somebody’s life or to sting them. It is up to you to live your life wisely.
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Take care, till next time.

26 thoughts on “World Bee Day

  1. Morag, wonderful! I too love bees and I knew it was World Bee Day because I campaign on their behalf with: https://beekind.bumblebeeconservation.org/
    When I retired I thought about becoming a beekeeper and actually did an introduction course, still have the certificate, but my garden is tiny, and when halfway through the intermediate course gave up! Too much science and not enough space, so instead decided to join Bumblebee Conservation and do what I can for wild bees.πŸ™

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing.. Love this line:
    “You have the ability to add honey to somebody’s life or to sting them. It is up to you to live your life wisely”

    Such wise words!!

    I always get sad when I see a dead bee, and always save the ones that fall into swimming pools.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, I am happy you liked it. I also save bees. I recently took a bee outside in the morning after a cold night, it looked very lethargic. I was holding it in the sunshine and watching it. It was so fascinating… First it unfolded its back legs, then after doing a couple of leg exercises it combed its hind quarters with its legs then it stretched out its front legs and did some exercises, after that it combed it’s head and each feeler… Only then it flew away. It was a wonderful sight to behold.

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  3. Oh Morag, I love your stories! Though I did feel sorry for all the dead bees after the chicken episode, I had to smile at your mother’s desire to save the chickens (and imagine the vet’s face πŸ˜‰).
    There is an open field at the back of our house with a few bee hives … and it’s always amazing to watch the busy bees during spring time … it’s almost as if they can’t get quick enough to all the beautiful little flowers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful story! I loved it, though I was stung by a bee on more than one occasion. But your last line is superb. Thanks for sharing such an informative piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “…no matter how small a role you might play in contributing to humanity, your life and actions matter. You have the ability to add honey to somebody’s life or to sting them. It is up to you to live your life wisely.” Wow, that is the best inspiration I’ve read!! Thank you! Also, I learned a lot from your post about bees. The story of the chickens and the bees…wow, I can’t imagine what a sight that was! I’m glad they were saved, and sad for the one that didn’t make it. ❀️

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  6. I absolutely loved this story. I didn’t know of World Bee Day, I’m glad I do now. My favourite movie is in fact called “The Secret Loves of Bees.”, it’s a beautiful movie, this too is a beautiful story. I’ve always been fascinated by their existence. Thank you.

    P.S Your childhood, sounds glorious.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was so interesting, sounds like you had a lovely, ‘nature-based’ childhood. I have never heard about chickens being stung before β€” while it sounds amusing it must have been so painful (and worrying for your mother too!). There are a lot of beekeepers around the countryside and hills of Cordova, but farmers have to be especially careful when using pesticides as they’re lethal for the poor bees. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, thank you, it was distressing.. I think the chickens became part of the family as she named them… It was particularly horrible to see their suffering… I don’t know if you know that when they are hot and thirsty they gape, they look like they are gasping for air… And that is how we found them so we could see they were in pain. Both of us are animal lovers.. And yes it is so important to be aware of the pesticide problem. I always try to keep away from pesticides even for my garden. Thank you for your lovely comments. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

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