Friday, June 8, 2012


Can you see her?
Someday I would love to have bees. I know, I know...not all of you will think this is a good idea. But that's OK. I understand. A few years ago I might have thought it a bad idea, too. But not anymore.

Over the past couple of years I've read several books about bees and beekeeping that only enforce the fact that I would love to have bees someday. Yes, yes...reading a book about keeping bees doesn't automatically make you a beekeeper. I get it. But you've got to start somewhere...and reading books is where I like to start.

That's how I ended up with the chickens. I read a blog or two or 10, checked out some books at the library, learned and thought on it for about a year and then finally I felt ready to keep some chickens in my backyard. And I have to say, I've never regretted it.

But back to the bees.

I remember my first encounter with a bee. I was about seven years old waiting at the bus stop to go to school. I was wearing my pink flowery coat and a bee landed right on my zipper just as the bus pulled up. I was terrified. Mom and Dad had taught me to hold real still if a bee should ever land on me so it wouldn't get scared and sting me. So I froze. The bus driver had to get off of the bus to gently shoo the bee away so we could get on with gettin' to school!

Since then I've always been cautious of bees. I wouldn't say afraid. But I am careful when they are around. A few weeks ago our Japanese maple was FULL of bees. The whole tree buzzed. It was amazing. Of course I ran in and grabbed my camera then stood under the branches watching the bees do their work, letting them fly around me, snapping photos all the while. I felt a little like Idgie Threadgoode.

If I could have my way I would have a beehive right here in my suburban backyard. I would. I have got the perfect spot for a nice little hive right along the back fence. It's shady, it's protected...all we would need would be a water feature for them to get a cool drink.

I am convinced that there are people in town who keep bees in their backyards. But this isn't something people just blurt out at a dinner party. Especially with the fear of Africanized bees. And then of course the many rules and regulations that have been placed on what we can and can't do on our own property.

It's funny, when I tell people I have chickens in my backyard many times they will tell me how they're grandparents had not only chickens, but goats and rabbits and, yes, bees, too. And right in the middle of town. Not as pets but to provide food for their family. And this was within the last, oh, 50-60 years or so? That's really not that long of a time to go from being a bit more self-sufficient to what we are today which is totally dependent on someone else to provide our food. And really, to call some of it "food" is a real stretch.

But again...back to the bees.

The reality is, I won't become a beekeeper anytime soon. Making that big of a decision isn't just up to me. And right now just isn't the right time. And honestly, I'm not ready. I have a whole lot more learning to do. A lot. So in the meantime I will continue to read and learn and gather up information. I will continue to borrow books from the library about bees and beekeeping. I will continue to thumb through the beekeeper's catalog and read helpful and informative blogs. I would even like to attend a class or two.

And then...someday...I will have some bees of my own.


Kara said...

i have always thought the same thing. What a shame that we don't live as neighbors..or actually even know each other...we could be partners and only have to do half the work and share all that wonderful honey. Instead of actually becoming a bee keeper I collect honey jars, buy local honey every time i see it and re-read Winnie the Pooh on a fairly frequent basis.

Denise said...

good for you - but as for me, no desire. but, i'd gladly buy some honey from you!

sarah said...

Michelle I can't wait until you get your bees because of the way you see the world, I am excited to see how you will capture the life of bees. You are already a beekeeper.. you have already began the process of learning and the passion is already there friend! I tell my neighbor he is a beekeeper at heart all the time. He laughs at me.. but who is there to catch the swarm with me this week? Bud. :) I loved catching up here today. Hope you are well :) Sending love..