I’m no good a surprises. Actually I’m not good at surprises if I know there’s a surprise coming. “Clare, I’ve got you the best birthday present”, “we’re going out tomorrow”, or “I’ve got a surprise for you”, do not excite me. They, in fact terrify me. It may sound silly, but as a planner, I like to know how I’m expected to react, I’d hate to disappoint someone if I didn’t show enough enthusiasm.
So now that J has figured it out, he knows he can either choose not to tell me (this way I don’t have to prepare a reaction), or he can say, “I’ve got a surprise for you, it’s ______”.
For our anniversary he found the perfect gift for me, something I’d been looking into but hadn’t found the perfect option. A beekeeping course. His approach was, “I’ve found you the best gift for our anniversary, I haven’t booked it yet, do you want me to tell you what it is?”
Absolutely I did!
And was I ever so excited to find out that it was a beekeeping course. It was something that I’d talked about having in our backyard. Just another step towards being more self-sufficient.
The course was held in the neighbourhood center in Geelong West, and for only $70, a bargain! Over 4 sessions we learnt about extracting honey, collecting hives, the make up of a swarm, building bee boxes and frames and so much more.
Each day was a wonderful learning experience. Did you know that the first thing that bees do when they hatch is clean out their hexagonal cell? If they find something in their hive that shouldn’t belong, they flick it out the front door of the bee boxes? And a hive is kept at a constant temperature of 38 degrees Celsius? Rather than talking about an individual bee, people often refer to the hive as the organism, as one bee could not survive without the rest of the colony. They are the perfect example of a cohesive community, something that we humans could learn a bit about.
Throughout the course I experienced two stings, they happened in the last session, within minutes of each other, and initially I showed no reaction. One sting was on my upper leg and the other on my forehead. The next day my forehead swelled, then my eyes, and now, three days later, my cheeks are showing only a slight swelling. I visited the doctor and was told that although it was a fairly sever reaction, this may have been to do with the fact that I had two stings at the same time, I am still safe to keep bees. Although I definitely need to be more careful. I’m now looking into all the protective gear I need to keep myself sting free in the future.
Have you ever kept bees? Ever seen a hive in action?