How Brave I Am

Well, it is not every day that you walk into the middle of a swarm of African Killer Bees. Actually, these may have been Honey Bees, in fact I am pretty sure that these were Honey Bees.

So anyway I was walking past the front garden when I heard a sound that I thought must be machinery. It was very loud and coming from the garden but I couldn’t place it, it wasn’t the sound that a lawnmower makes.

I was standing in the middle of this swarm overwhelmed by their presence and fascinated.

Then I saw the Farmer and told him about them, he kept telling me to get back, they might go for me and I was just saying, “No, why would they do that?” Apparently Bees can be quite dangerous as I learned when the bee keeper turned up.

He told me that no two swarms were alike, some were very aggressive and some were docile. Well, I didn’t know that, anyway this was a docile (ish) bunch.

Honey Bees Honey Bees

They formed a ball in the Magnolia and we sent for a bee keeper.

By the time that he got here they had pretty much settled in the tree, he was going to unsettle them.

Honey Bees

He was a very nice fellow. Sadly he told me that he had lung cancer and was a bit short of breath but he wasn’t afraid to go up a tree and get the bees. I carried stuff for him.

His technique was pretty simple, “Aren’t you going to calm them with smoke or anything?” I asked, “Nah, it’ll probably be all right.” he told me.

He just went up a ladder and cut away a few branches and then cut the one the bees were on and dropped them into a box.

I did ask for his permission to photograph him at work and he was happy to let me do that.

Bee Keeper Bee Keeper Bee KeeperAt this point he has got the bees in his box, most of them and notice that although he is wearing a veil he has not bothered with gloves.

Bee Keeper Bee Keeper Bee KeeperHow cool is that?

Honey Bees Honey Bees Honey Bees Honey Bees Honey BeesMy antics as I tried to film the proceedings caused the farmer and his friends some amusement. I flinched a bit and dodged, they were getting caught in my hair. I may even have run away a couple of times.

I made a movie to try and capture the ambiance.

This was just one little extra adventure that I was granted yesterday. I get lucky, I get lucky a lot with nature and I am very grateful. This was a wonderful experience. (A bit scary too) Very cool.

4 thoughts on “How Brave I Am”

    1. Yes, thanks Mike. I photograph lots of bees and it had never occurred to me that they might turn nasty. As soon as one fellow started telling me about bad bees everyone had a story. There is one farm around here that everyone knows with several hives full of “Little Beggars” that attack every visitor on sight. I will be much more wary in future. šŸ™‚


  1. You are a lot braver than me, I don’t mind the odd bee but not a swarm, really interesting to find out how one swarm can be totally docile and yet another hell-bent on wanting to attack, great photographs and the videos were fantastic, a really interesting documentation.


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