Sometimes I Cuss

I think I’m probably a shitty beekeeper.

I watch videos of others working their bees, and they look so calm and confident. I’m sure a video of me would show me standing there swatting at bees and looking confused.

And inevitably I get a darn bee inside my veil. Trying to figure out which side of the veil the bee is on takes a minute…and some concentration—I go a little cross eyed doing it; but once you realize you’re seeing the top of the bee’s back rather than the bee’s feet when it’s latched onto the netting, you’ve got to take a little action. Or not. In the past, I’ve removed my veil only to get more bees in the hair. Yesterday, I kept the veil on and squished the bee inside the veil. It was at that moment that my self-esteem as a beekeeper sunk.

Many experienced beekeepers work their bees with no gloves, with no veil, and with little protective clothing. I don’t know if I’ll ever be comfortable doing that. I hope it happens. Those people look like they’re having more fun than I am. Fuckers.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes I Cuss

  1. Leslie

    I read something a while back (maybe even in something you linked me) that this beekeeper, even after years of tending, still used the whole getup. And freaked out and cried and ran back to the house if she got stung even once. She said she’d always be irritated and feel goofy afterward, and go right back out to her bees, but that’s just how it was for her.

    If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen! At least you’ve still got your bees. And maybe they’re having a whole lot of fun sitting in their hives laughing at how weird you look in your funny outfit.

    Also, I asked B about doing construction for your bee removals. He said as long as he doesn’t have to go near a bee, he might be into it. Hah. He doesn’t know construction but would be just fine at helping someone who does.

  2. Deb

    You’re the best beekeeper in the world and definitely my favorite.

  3. Mary

    Stay confident! You are an EXCELLENT beekeeper and a treatment-free one at that! Your writing cracks me up, Liz.

  4. Jim

    I had this happen to me once. I decided to crack open my veil to taste some raw honey. A bee came in with the honey and soon stung me under my chin.

    I am glad you didn’t get stung. I am sure once the other bees smelled squashed bee, they all wanted to get you.

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