Don’t Worry, Bee Happy

I am not wild about most bees. I am allergic to the stings, and while it’s not enough to put me in the hospital or have the need to carry epinephrine with me, I do swell up like a puffer fish and have discomfort for a full week after being stung. So usually I just try to avoid bees and their stings, with the exception of the honey bee.

I encourage the honey bees we have around here and regard them with respect for the valuable part they play in our ecosystem. Our tall fir trees that show signs of having bee colonies inhabiting old scars (referred to as ‘Cat Faces’) or forming mobile hives in the large leaf maples are marked and we refuse to cut them down for fear of chasing the honey bees away.

I had stopped at the local bakery the other day and asked if they had an ingredient bucket or two that I could get for farm use. I left the bakery that day with a trunk full of 3-gallon buckets, they were happy to discard of them without having to wait a couple more weeks for the plastic recycle company to show up. The only issue to the free buckets were that they had not been washed yet. To me, this was not a big deterrent. My dogs love the chance to clean up anything. The buckets with scrapings left of maple icing were their favorite.

Bees eating sugar iciing from a bucket.I set out a bucket with a coating of donut icing on the inside, it was basically just sugar and corn syrup. The honey bees flocked to the bucket and spent the next four days inviting all their relatives to join them in the sugar eating frenzy.

With the weather turning colder, the honey bees were out getting their last bit of nutrition before settling in for a long winter slumber.Bees in a bucket of sugar cake.

This was one bucket that the dogs did not get to clean out for me. I hope they don’t hold a grudge for long.


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