Safety around bees and beehives
You’ve grown up, and some issues that weren’t so important to you as a child are now at the forefront of your thoughts. Supporting your region’s honeybee population is one of them. As a child, you had a serious case of apiphobia, which is the technical term for fear of bees. Today, you value the contribution that honeybees make to the food supply, and you love the taste of their honey. Before you start clearing a space in your backyard for your budding beekeeping hobby, it’s time to learn some fundamental safety rules for interacting with bees and beehives.
Adopt the Right Attitude
Many people have a deep-seated prejudice against honeybees even in this progressive, 21st-century culture of social justice warriors. Perhaps a bee or one of its wasp cousins stung you while playing in your backyard as a child, or maybe you saw a younger sibling’s melt down after she succumbed to a bee’s sting. It’s time to replace the negative image about honeybees with a positive one no matter how you picked up your bee bias.
The one thing that you must know is that honeybees are not usually aggressive; they get into a defensive posture when you threaten their lives or their hive with fast, erratic movements. Stay safe by being aware of their presence, respecting their living quarters, and moving in slow and deliberate ways when you’re around them. If you have children, make sure that they don’t engage in rough play around honeybees and beehives.
Wear Appropriate Clothing and Gear
If you decide that beekeeping is a good hobby for you, then you need to make sure that you wear the right clothing for your activities. According to a University of Illinois publication about beehive safety, you’ll want to wear a wide-brimmed hat with an attached netting, long pants, and a long-sleeved dress shirt with its collar turned up. Take extra precautions against bee stings by tucking pants into tall socks and placing rubber bands on your sleeves. While this outfit won’t win you any fashion awards, it’ll stop honeybees from getting into tight openings in your clothes and stinging you.
Time Your Encounters With Bees and Beehives
You know the miserable feeling that you get when the weather is hot, humid, and rainy. It turns out that honeybees also get cranky in these conditions. This is the time to avoid contact with honeybees and their hives. Check in on your honeybee neighbors when the weather is sunny and warm.
Not up to the challenge of starting and maintaining a beehive on your own? You can still reap the benefits that honeybees bring to your lawn and garden by getting involved with the Foster a Hive program at Beescause. The Cause employs professional beekeepers who will set up a hive in your backyard and remove it for storage during colder months. It’s a home improvement project that you and your neighbors will feel good about.