My photography is embedded into my every action, everyday.
I say that to say this:
I was outside with my pup gang and I went to deposit organics into our compost tumbler. As I approached I noticed a few honey bees buzzin’ around. Now, I don’t normally shy away from Honey bees. Why not? Because they won’t puncture you if you don’t upset them. Now, mess with their hive and you got another thing coming…thousands of things..with stingers, coming!
That being said, my confidence in not being harmed was in tact, and I proceeded to open the compost tumbler. Unbenounced to me, there was an entire colony nestled inside! Yes, that’s right (as you shock and awe at my near death experience) I thrust open the compost hatch and…FWOOOOSH! A wave of Honey bees nearly enveloped that which is my face! As I mentioned before, if you do not fuss with them, they will, generally, not accost you and turn you into a human pincushion. As such, I kept my cool and sloooowly moved back until I was out of harms way.
Upon taking inventory of my bodily well being, I began to asses the mass of bees that had engulfed my compost bin. After standing there dumbstruck for about 5 minutes, I realized two things. 1) Crap! I gotta get them out of my compost bin and (here’s where the photog in me came out) 2) Woah! This would make for some awesome pictures! Now, in order to do one, I had to accomplish the other. In other words, I could not get nearly close enough to snap some pics with the hatch open due to there being WAY too many bees in the general vicinity. And, I wouldn’t be able to get the shot I was looking at, or any shot for that matter, if I didn’t clear out the bees and close the hatch. So…
I grabbed the water hose and began my assault on the little stingers. I was able to knock the honey comb off of the compost hatch and get enough of them out of the area to where I could get to the hatch, close it, AND unlock the latch to be able to rotate the tumbler and keep any more bees from crawling in.
Alright, so with that having been accomplished, I reached for my phone and snapped some pics. Then I came to the realization that “Hello…I have a long distance zoom lens with a descent camera inside…duh” so I rushed in, set my camera up and was able to snatch a few of these mesmerizing shots.
Educationally, did you know that Honeybees are important pollinators of crops, fruit and wild flowers and are indispensable for a sustainable and profitable agriculture as well as for the maintenance of the non-agricultural ecosystem. And that there has been a steady decline in Honey bees due to a disease that is causing them to decline in population (called colony depopulation). However, For the first time, scientists have isolated a parasite from professional apiaries suffering from honey bee colony depopulation syndrome. They then went on to treat the infection with complete success. If we were to lose honey bees it could have an enormous horticultural and economic impact worldwide.
Needless to say, I did not eradicate them from my compost. No. I doused them with much water to get them out of my area, then sprayed a diluted mixture of water and peppermint on and around my tumbler so as to deter them from building another hive. I only do this because I gotta keep my pack safe. Otherwise I would…I don’t know. They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. So I guess I’d buy a bee keeper suit and make sweet, sweet honey!
San Antonio Photography