My First Hive Inspection!!!
This past Saturday I teamed up with the LSU Bee Allies Organization (of which I am the Bee Specialist Executive) to do my first hive inspection! In regular people terms, we just opened some bee hives and looked at the bees, hah. It was actually really awesome though! I was told that I needed to wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants, both of which needed to be light-colored because apparently dark colors angry the bees. I had an insulated white long-sleeve shirt (the only long-sleeve things I had), but no pants that weren’t dark jeans. So, I looked around the house and all I could find were some custom made, jankey pajama pants with wontons and fortune cookies on them. So, I had to wear them…
I showed up after being lost and wondering around for 20 minutes, and people immediately started to stare at my pants. Turns out none of that mattered anyway because I immediately put on a bee suit and gained the gang. We went over what we’d “bee” doing, started up the smoker, and got out there. First we walked around the bees and got acclimated to the buzzing, then we opened up a hive and started to pass around the frames. We got to look at the combs and move the bees around, and we even took one of the combs back and ate honey right off of it. I drizzled some on a cinnamon roll and it tasted amazing!
After our little snack break, almost everyone left except for me and a few others. We then went back out, but to the Russian bees… Apparently they get pretty angry, and angry they were. We took apart their frames and shook the bees off and they SWARMED! I mean they came out by the thousands, and they were everywhere pelting my suit and buzzing around my face. It was pretty surreal, but also a little scary. After that we walked back and de-suited.
Overall, it was really awesome! I was sweating like crazy because it was 80 degrees, we were in the sun, and I was wearing 2 very solid layers of insulated clothing, but it was also a ton of fun and I’ll never forget the experience. Also, it turns out my dad is very close friends with our bee guide, so I’ll be seeing a lot more of him.
For any of you looking into beekeeping or even just want to know what it’s all about, I highly recommend you do it! Bees are very docile and don’t sting at all unless provoked or squeezed. Like I said, I even moved some of them around with my bare fingers and pet their backs while they drank honey. It’s a great hobby and it helps the environment too (plus who can beat free honey), so go out there and help save the bees!