Bee keeping

Note: exposed ankles

Dumfries and Galloway have, in the last two weeks, held host to a ‘flavour fortnight.’ I found out about it all a little too late to be really involved but I did manage to have a look at a couple of the events being laid on.
I would really love to keep bees, my own honey and little insect empire, lovely. Although I know far too little at the moment and although the though had been somewhere in my mind for a while I had not acted upon it until this week. The obvious next step for a person such as myself is a taster afternoon with a bee keeping organisation, and luckily enough for me as  part of this ‘flavour fortnight’ such an event was being held…
I have to admit I learnt a great deal (and in a very short space of time), I knew some of the basics; queen, honey, hive, etc. But the level of science was astounding. We started with a kind of theory session, the different types of bee, how the hive functions and how it is made up (all brand new information as far as I was concerned). We then ventured out into the rather wet outdoors to have a gander at the real chaps in action.
We were kitted out in bee keeping suits but alas I had forgotten my wellies leaving my ankles rather vulnerable to attack… Inevitably I was the first to be stung, before we had hardly opened up the first hive.
I was surprised by how small the bees were, I suppose I am so used to seeing bumble bees which are much larger and much more brightly coloured. We saw inside the hives and were shown the relevant parts, which, despite the now burning sensation up my leg, was very interesting.
I would still very much like bees of my own, however I am going to need to up my pain threshold as well as move into a house with a bigger garden!
An afternoon well spent…

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