A few years ago, the little boy found himself in the middle of an angry hive of stinging, flying somethings. They were in his shorts and up his shirt, he got it pretty good. The following summer he stayed in the house every time we checked bees.
Fast forward to this summer, curiosity got the best of him. One night I went to check the bees and he asked to come with. “Next time. You need pants and boots and long sleeves.”
We weren’t even finished with supper the following night and he has excused himself from the table and came back dressed to check the bees. Together we built a fire in the smoker. He “suited” up in Mike’s beekeeping hat and gloves and grabbed the hive tool. We hopped on the four-wheeler and headed out for his first hive check.
I wasn’t too sure how this would go considering the past and knowing that the bees fly about and land where they please-sometimes on the vail in front of your face. We parked in the field and put green grass in our smoker to cool the smoke. I gave a last warning about the bees flight/landing patterns.
“I know mama.” He marched right over.
He watched intently as they flew in and out of their entrance. I removed the lid and he was eager to climb the up the pallet. Just his toes fit in front of the hive. He hung on to the boxes and got his nose as close as he could to peer into the hive. I pulled out a frame for him to watch the bees work in and on the comb. Wide-eyed, quiet and beaming. The frame was packed with bees.
When he was satisfied with the workings of the first hive we checked the second. That hive is a little slower and there wasn’t as much going on so that one went a little quicker.
From that night he’s been checking the hives with me ever since. I get home from work and he’s suited up, smoker going, hive tool in hand waiting by the four-wheeler.