Yesterday, my apiary hosted it's first-ever bee tourist: my friend Elizabeth's cousin Todd from Berkeley.
Cooler heads would have postponed hosting group activities until cooler weather, but we only had Monday or Tuesday to visit, and the invitation was issued. The girls are still surly, but if we just stopped by to take a look, they might not cause a whole lot of trouble. Nonetheless, I asked many questions about bee sting allergy and general freakiness, received proper assurances, and we were off!
Todd. my visitor, has travelled the world and dealt with stuff like poison spider bites in Madagascar (no joke), so my warnings were probably misplaced. She is also a birder and a lot of fun to talk to. I asked her to come back in the Spring, when I could actually give her a frame of friendly bees to hold in her hands. Showing her my spare wooden ware and some busy hive entrances is just not the same.
I only have one spare veil, so Todd got to wear it. Elizabeth, with whom I went to college, hung back in order to be our photographer. She, of course, got stung. It was, as I'd like to believe, one of those near-blameless events: 1) Fly-by bee gets caught in veil-less hair; 2) Reflex to slap complete before conscious brain engaged; 3) Finger receives sting; and 4) Apologetic beekeeper picks buzzing bee remnants from hair.
Not quite ready for bus tours, eh?
We went downstairs and had some water, then chatted for a bit. Todd said that she did not see beekeeping in her future, but appreciated my enthusiasm. I think Elizabeth may be somewhat less positive on the subject at this point, but she's on my list for honey this year. Not that you have to get stung first, I swear!