Yesterday I finally got bees for our two hives here at Rancho Relaxo. I drove to Grass Valley and picked up 2 "nucs" from Oliver's Bees. The Oliver family has been breeding bees for over 50 years and provides bees to much of California's almond industry. They have over 55 yards full of bees and are considered North America's premium supplier of bees. The bees came packaged safely in vented little white boxes. I put them in my trunk and headed home, excited to begin my apiary.
After the 90-minute drive home I was worried the bees would be agitated from being cooped up in the trunk. I had visions of popping the trunk and having an angry swarm come charging at me with stingers at the ready. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. The bees were still all neatly in their boxes and ready to be placed in their new homes.
I placed the boxes in the locations that would become their new homes and opened them to let the bees forage and rest for a few hours, just as Eric at Oliver's Bees recommended. The bees were calm, cool and collected when it came time to transfer the nucs into my hives. Scott, a new friend, and bee mentor helped my wife and I with the process, which went swimmingly. Handling frames full of bees is an eye-opening experience to the wonderment of nature. Seeing thousands of bees doing what mother nature has programmed them to do gave us a new perspective and appreciation of honey bees.
Once the bees were transferred safely and tucked away in their new homes, I started to think about how lucky I am to have the opportunity to care for bees. I wondered how I could help them flourish. I relished in the fact that a few years back I decided to go organic on our little 9-acre ranch. I also hoped my neighbors would not be spraying roundup near our hives anytime soon. I got to thinking that the small choices we make each day around our house can have profound effects on our lives, our happiness, our health, and the health of the innocent creatures that have a symbiotic relationship with humankind, especially bees. After all, if the bees go...so do we.
This little endeavor into the apiary arts drove home a substantial philosophy of integrative medicine...GO ORGANIC whenever possible. Choose organic food. Use organic cleaning supplies. Support organic farming. Shop at your local farmer's market. Support your local co-op. Integrative medicine encompasses all that has to do with being healthy, and that includes using organic products whenever possible, for your health and the health of future generations.
YUUUMMM!---The rewards of beekeeping!!!