As I opened the gate to let my horse out, I noticed bees buzzing around a knothole in the milkhouse wall. Behind the wood they hummed like violins. With the dire news about colony collapse disorder, they are rare, valuable.
I stopped in at the Boone County Farm Bureau exhibit at the fair and asked about bee keepers. The volunteer said Philip Raines of Raines Honey Farm in Davis, Illinois, would be at the exhibit the next day. She gave me his phone number and suggested I send pictures, so he wouldn’t waste a trip to the farm. That evening I texted a picture, and he confirmed they were definitely honey bees.
The next day I asked if Raines would be interested in our bees. “Now is not the time to move them, because the whole wall might be full of honey. It’s way too messy. Give me a call in March. If they are hardy enough to survive the winter then maybe they are worth keeping. I’ll help you then.”
I also learned that honey bees smell bad when they are aggressive, and it’s best to leave them alone.
It’s funny how rich I feel when these animals adopt us. I felt that way about feral cat Onyx and I feel this way about these bees. Today I stop to watch them swarming around the hole. I hear their low thrum and feel the sun on my neck.