• Smallwings Luke

Tales From the start

Updated: Oct 29, 2018

Short tales from my experiences as I learned how to keep bees.

Hi everyone, seeing as this is my first blog post i thought it would be the perfect opportunity to expand a little on some of the things i said in the "About" section of the website, maybe delve a little deeper into why I decided to keep bees and hopefully entertain you with some of my misadventures as i learned the ropes :)

First Thoughts

So When i finished university i had a really hard time finding a job in the field i had studied for, so i took whatever job i could. I was lucky because at first i enjoyed this job. But as time wore on i started to feel like what i was doing was meaningless. To make myself fell better i would spend my evenings watch movies and nature documentaries, anything to forget about work. It was here that i became interested in bees. I had heard a lot about what was happening with bees in America, with colony collapse disorder, and hearing a lot of talk about bees being in danger and needing our help. Not long after that i had made up my mind that i was going to quit my job and become a beekeeper.

First Steps

I Started my journey into beekeeping small. I started by visiting the Waireka honey center and buying a bee suit (cant be much of a beekeeper without the right gear) and some leather gauntlets (what can i say, i was scared of getting stung) and a hive tool. With all that done i was all kitted out and ready for my first look inside a hive. With the help of a friend and his hives i got my first taste of beekeeping. My first experience was a real buzz (pun intended) the smell of the smoker, the sound of the bees, seeing into their secret world first hand, it was all so exciting! That day i got to try honey straight from a hive, it was like something from winne the pooh, minus getting stuck head first. From that moment on i was hooked. I kept my job (i was still learning and a fella has to eat) and for the first few months i would go out when i could and help check the hives. With each trip out my confidence grew and by the end of the year i felt like i had learnt enough to quit my job and start beekeeping full time!

First stings

It was bound to happen eventually, it was just a matter of time...

My first few beekeeping experiences had gone incredibly smoothly, the bees loved me, they were always super calm, i was like "man i am awesome at this, how do people even get stung?". The universe must have been listening, because not long after i had crowned myself "master of bees" did my first bee sting happen. It was bound to happen, it was simply a matter of time. My family always said i don't do anything by halves, i go all in, apparently this translates to getting stung by bees as well. So my first set of bee stings was a real doozy, and 100% my own fault. I had gone out that day with my friend to do some beekeeping and had left my full suit at home. So I'm out in the yard wearing a half suit (half suit just covers your upper body head and arms) some old track pants and sneakers. At first everything is fine, but soon enough i see bees going through a hole in the knee of my pants, not good, i start to feel them crawling on my legs! i can feel bees landing on my butt and crawling down my pants! i start freaking out, i have bees in my pants! As I'm standing there frozen in panic i don't even notice there are bees going up my shoes and into my pants that way! and before is can do anything i feel a sharp pain in my ankles. Of all the places i could have been stung they got me in the ankles, not just one but both! I tried to get away from the bees (but i obviously cant they're in my pants!), i must have looked like a crazy person. Suffice to say my legs were a swollen mess, my ankles were super swollen. I learnt a valuable lesson that day, always have the correct gear for a job.

I hope you enjoyed those short stories and that they've given you a bit more of an idea of what I'm all about. Until next time, stay safe and Bee kind ^_^

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