Communities Welcome Bees, with a Cautionary Tale

Port Townsend EcoVillage and Songaia Cohousing welcomed bee hives this spring. Here are a few shots, the first two from Port Townsend, and the second two from Songaia:

Kees Kolff from Port Townsend shared this cautionary tale about being sure to count your zippers while tending the hive:

There I was, all suited up with the top of the hive open.  The bees were particularly feisty and this hive at Sunfield Farm was not my favorite.  I suspect they were a slightly aggressive Russian hybrid but don’t really know since I had volunteered to care for them after the previous beekeeper left.  So I was treating them with all due respect and care when I noticed that part of my blue shirt was sticking out of the zipper in my bee suit.  In fact, my bee suit wasn’t zipped up at all and there were hundreds of bees on my shirt and now inside my suit.

The next scene would have been a hit on YouTube but unfortunately nobody was around to film it.  I went racing down the wide-open field in a panic, shedding my veil, gloves, boots and eventually the entire suit while I ran for my life with a stream of bees in pursuit.  The queen guardian of beekeepers must have been smiling down on me that day since I did not get a single sting!

So what’s the moral of this story?  If you have a zipper on your blue jeans and you are fully suited up and you need to relieve yourself, remember to count the number of zippers you zip down and then zip up again.  And count your blessing every day!