"Do you want a bee suit?" asked Lorraine.
"Will I need one?" I asked.
"If you're going to open a hive and have a look around inside," said Neil and my stroll through the woods got that much more interesting and complicated. I donned a bee suit and was given a "hive tool" which is basically a crowbar for undoing hard work done by bees to get at the frames.
"Make sure you have it velcroed under the chin," said Lorraine after she'd helped me into it, "the scariest thing is when the bees decide that it's time for you to go and you realize your hood is open at the bottom."
I packed a flash though I hadn't brought a macro with me, and walked slowly down to the hives like a space man. I watched the hives from the outside first, seeing the bees come and go, and then finding a likely hive I took the top off and after the bees didn't seem to mind much, I took out one of the frames and had a look. The bees didn't seem bothered by the intrusion and, indeed, occasional vigorous attempts at brushing one away from a place where she might get crushed if she stayed didn't incur their wrath. They stuck to their work and didn't seem to consider me a threat.
I photographed the frame and put it very carefully back, scooping up globs of bees to get them out of the way.
"Sometimes I like to let them eat honey off my fingers," Lorraine told me when I got back. I didn't feel I was that far along yet but who knows, in a couple weeks I could be wearing a bee beard.
Add me: [LiveJournal] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Google+] [Tumblr]