Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn, my God, do you learn.

-C.S. Lewis

Stream In January

Stream In January

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bees At The Mountain State Fair

We go to the Mountain State Fair mostly to see the animals, but this year were delighted to see a great display on beekeeping by the Buncombe County Beekeepers Association. My pictures posted backwards so I'll show some animals before I get to the bees, which this is really about. :)
Texas Longhorn
Mama and Baby Brahmas

Pigs are my favorite. I have a pink pig Christmas tree every year. Sounds tacky, I know, but I am from the deep South. Doesn't he look happy.

And now to the bees. Talk about an observation hive! This fellow was completely surrounded by bees using only an occasional puff of smoke to calm them. He was very slowly opening the hive and pointing out the queen and talking to the audience, which was completely enthralled, about how the hive works. The cage was full of bees and he was completely unprotected. I think this exhibit went a long was in educating the public about the gentle nature of honeybees. So many people were in awe of the fact that he was not being stung. Folks who aren't familiar with honeybees are so quick to think they will be stung and usually bees are killed because of it. Great education for the public.

Children were especially interested in his demonstration.

Buncombe County hosts a great bee school every winter and was where I first started my education about bees. (I've also attended the bee school at Young Harris College in North Georgia, but will talk about that later.) The school is held at the Folk Art Center in Asheville over three weekends. Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 - 5:00. There are several Master Beekeepers in the Asheville area and along with them and other very knowledgeable speakers, the school presents a wealth of information about bees. This was where I was took my test and passed the Certified Beekeeper level. I hope in the next few years to go on to the Journeyman level.

I realize everyday that I work around my honeybees that I have lots to learn. But if I listen carefully to them, I think my bees will point me in the right direction. I'm trying my best to respect what they do and leave them alone to do their work.


Ngaio said...

We have shows like that here also, it is always fun to go and see the animals, especially since my children were brought up in the city. I am a farm girl, so I enjoyed the memories!
I do wish we had learning institutions that ran bee courses, there is only 1 place in the South Is that has a beekeeping class, nothing up here which is one of the main reasons I decided to teach night classes.

Kenzie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenzie said...

That's a fantastic observation hive. I've put a link to your post on my own blog to show others. I'd love to replicate this demonstration myself, though will wait till I am more experienced and braver!

Paul said...

Man, How can he not be stung? My bees try their best to sting me when I mess with their honey. He must know what he is doing.