This past year was my first year getting into and caring for a beehive. So, you can say I’m a noob to the industry. I’m not going to lie I was nervous the first several times getting into a hive. Thankfully I had the great and wonderful Sadye Harris there to help me and to teach me! The first few times I was just an observer, there to look and take as much information in as possible. So, during those first visits to the hive I learned a ton of information about beekeeping. I learned about the equipment needed, I learned how to approach a hive, and I learned about the bees. The equipment is the first thing this worried noob wanted to learn about. I’m not about that getting stung life! So Sadye got me fitted into a suit, and got me some rubber gloves to cover my hands. The suit was a typical full white jumpsuit with a screened hood. The gloves were light weight rubber gloves like you would see in a doctor’s office. This type of glove allows much more control and dexterity while working in the hive, but a bee can still sting you through them. As stated earlier I was nervous getting into the hive, bees can sense fear and I had a lot of fear for them to sense! I approached the hive, this was the first hive I was going to open myself, sweat was beading down my face, my heart is racing. Sadye smokes the outside of the hive and I take the hive tool and begin to open the lid. That’s when it happened… I closed my eyes as I popped open the hive. My mind was racing with worry. I just knew that I was a goner, that they would swarm me and that would be it! BAM! The lid was open, and I was in the hive and the bees were everywhere!!!
Well, everywhere they were supposed to be. I wasn’t being attacked, my heart stopped racing, I was still sweating because it was summer in a full bee suit, but I was fine, and the bees were fine. All my fears and worries quickly lessened. I was still nervous, I did not/do not want to get stung, but I was feeling much better about having the hive open.
Once I started handling the frames inside the hive, I started getting more nervous again. I literally was holding bees in my hands! Sadye was fearless and I was fearful. She definitely made me look bad! Sadye is a bee ROCKSTAR! But I was a fearful noob! The bees would crawl over my hands and up my arms a bit and I would start panicking. Remember those blue gloves I mentioned, yeah those were too thin for me! I tried to tough it out because I didn’t want to look childish! I am a 6’2” 300lb man and would look a little funny squealing from fear! I was never stung through them but knowing they could sting me was crippling. I was too worried to focus on the hive and Sadye’s instruction. After almost two months of sucking it up I caved and changed to big leather gloves that covered up to my elbows. I had less dexterity handling the hive tools and the frames, but I felt comfortable and safe. If there is one word of wisdom that I can tell any noobie is to be comfortable! Do whatever it is you need to do to feel comfortable working the bees! I went too long being uncomfortable and it became stressful to deal with and I missed out on a lot of learning. Once I changed my gloves I gained a true level of comfort. I was able to really start learning and paying attention to what Sadye instructed.
Beekeeping is not something to just jump into. There is a lot of information to learn and you have to be in a solid state of mind and work past any fear you have. Once you’re comfortable, working with the bees is not scary. Sadye is fantastic and teaches classes at the Bee Hive! I cannot brag on her enough! If you are local and interested contact us if you want to learn how to beekeep! Beekeeping isn’t terrifying its actually amazing. I feel like I’m doing something special and helping the world. As always Bee Inspired, and this week Bee Comfortable! Till next week!