Last Sunday, I took my dad along to a village in Kent for a one day bee keeping course. It was a belated birthday present for him but I admit, it was my suggestion, due to my own interest in all things bees.
Wasps frighten the life out of me. I have a hatred of them. Anyone with an ounce of environmental knowledge, will tell you how vital they are to the natural order of things. Aside from their lack of jam making, they still sting and hurt like heck. Bees do that too, I'm well aware, but the downside for bees is that they die when they've stung you. Give me one-sting-wonders any day over multi pain inflicters. Add to that the bonus of honey bees providing one of the tastiest natural products known to man (and insects) and I'm much more prepared to face the hives.
I'm not scared of bees - honest but if you're going to walk towards the home of hundreds of them and then take away their food, it's a good idea to be prepared. A bee suit is essential, along with an attached face mask, Wellington boots and gloves. It doesn't make a particularly attractive outfit, but style was the last thing on my mind.
What I did have, however, were several bees on the face mask and a few on the suit. It wasn't particularly unnerving when they were on me, as it was protective wear at the end of the day. The odd part was feeling them land. I hadn't expected that.
All that aside, it was a brilliant day, looking at a number of bee hives, learning about honey bees and how to take care of them if you are seriously thinking of beekeeping.
What made it even better, was the fantastic food and refreshments provided and honey harvested from the bees on the day. I'm glad to say, the organisers had the job of leaving the hives with the honey and my suit was well and truly zipped up until we were a very safe distance away.
Fantastic day and thanks to Nick and Jennifer Mengham at www.mrbumble.biz