Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bee Bob Buzzes By

Yesterday, San Miguel's roving apiculture ambassadors, Bee Bob and his ten-pound mutt, Pepper, buzzed by the ranch for an emergency consultation.

The actual emergency occurred about two weeks ago when Stew once again try to answer that perennial question, "What is going on with the bees?"

Honey? Buzz off, we're not in the mood. 
He had donned his official beekeeper costume and, bee-smoker gizmo in hand, lifted the lid of the beehive to take a look. 

It was a really bad idea though the bees seem to be thriving.

They went after Stew in a frenzied swarm that sent him to the garage screaming for me to get the can of insect spray from under the kitchen sink.

I gave Stew what I thought was a good dousing to no avail. I guess I missed the microscopic warning on the can that says: "This crap doesn't work on bees."

Instead the bees became even angrier and took after me in the garage, sending Félix running in one direction and Domino, one of our dogs, in another.

Domino once again displayed his amazing deductive powers by dashing to the living-room door, tapping the lever with his paw to open it and running under the bed where he remained for about an hour, his nose barely sticking out from under the mattress. 

The casualty report was serious. Stew got bit several times on the legs and on the face. I got it a couple of times near my right eye and Félix on the head. Domino didn't want to talk about it.

Bee Bob would have come earlier but he was in the throes of his own existential crisis. He had quit smoking a few days before and was feeling as short-tempered as the bees.

There's a lesson to be learned from this latest apian debacle, Stew says.

First, one is supposed to wear light-colored clothing when approaching the beehive, according to Bee Bob. I don't know why that is.

Second, one should never open the beehive during cool, cloudy or rainy weather. The sun must be shining and the temperatures at least 80 degrees. I don't know why that is either.

Third, one should fold the pants cuffs tightly and secure them with rubber bands and I do know why that is: To prevent bees from flying up your legs, possibly way up there. 

In his capacity as San Miguel's apiculture empresario, Bee Bob recently secured a grant from the local Audubon Society to host a series of four Spanish-language seminars on beekeeping to promote  apiculture among Mexicans.

We volunteered Félix to participate though after being attacked by angry bees twice his enthusiasm for apiculture is definitely muted these days. We mentioned he will get his own beehive after completion of the training.

After mumbling and grumbling for a while, he finally agreed on one condition: He doesn't want the beehive anywhere near his house.

So we'll be setting up his beehive at the ranch, making it three. Three? Yes, undeterred by his mishaps, Stew had ordered yet another beehive from Bee Bob.

There is one silver lining to this latest incident. The original beehive is loaded with honey and it is delicious--or at least that's what Stew says. 


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3 comments:

  1. Bees have always fascinated me. My school chum, Neil, -- or rather his parents -- had a bee hive amongst some fruit trees. Whenever they opened it to collect honey, I was there.

    Come to think of it, Neil's house was always an adventure. He owned a pet skunk. It does not get much better than that when you are in the fourth grade.

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  2. Better you than me, Al, but I love the helpful hints just in case I might need them. Nice post, yet again

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  3. Review the Bee Queen dancer with her bees. You shouldn't need protection and a helmet.

    My encounter with yellowjackets left me with stings on my right eye giving me an appearance like the bulging-eye character of the Phantom of the Opera. I'll remember Domino's strategy.

    Bill

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