Visit to the apiary

October had 5 Thursdays which means a garden visit in addition to our normal monthly meeting. This month we went to Frank and Laura’s Apiary.IMG_6205

Frank and Laura tend about 20 bee hives full of calm and gentle Italian honey bees. After a nice chat over tea and cakes (thanks to everyone who baked something to share) Frank led the intrepid members of the group into the bee garden while those more interested in flowers than their pollinators wandered the garden. What was most surprising was that all but 3 of the members went into the apiary. It’s a brave club we have 🙂


Spare protective clothing was donned by many of those keen to get hands on with the bees were so nice it might not have been strictly required. Only one person was stung. Of course it was the hostess who followed the “do as I say, not as I do” approach by going into the apiary in shorts and open toed shoes with zero protective gear on. Could her arrogance be what caused that gentle little bee to land on her nose and sting her – followed immediately by bee number 2 proving that the pheromones a bee gives off when she commits suicide by stinging an intruder attracts other guard bees to help the cause? Laura is fine but will probably suit up before opening her next hive!

A couple of people are thinking about keeping bees themselves so were happy to get up close and personal to the hives. Most others started off keeping their distance but moved in when Frank passed around a frame full of honey. Tentative fingers touched the freshly capped comb before plunging in and coming out dripping in honey. Nothing tastes as good as honey straight from the comb, nothing is as messy as honey pressed into the mesh protecting your face from pesky guard bees!

After adding supers to three of the strongest hives (there was work to be done, this wasn’t just a walk in the park) the club returned to the tea and cakes to finish off the morning.

Don’t forget to checkout the upcoming meetings tab to find out what is happening at the club.


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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