From the Keeper of Feral Bees

Suited up with my arms full,

Taking every step as gently as possible.

The sun beaming down as a gentle breeze pierces through my suit and chills my skin where my sweat drips.

Every step that I take, I smell the residual burnt pieces of wood from my smoker mixed with the fresh tampered with herbs and wildflowers. The aroma of a wooden bee hive is a indescribable. It is combination of pollen, propolis, nectar, and the pheromones of the feral bees. It has a uniquely sweet yet earthy spice to it!

Approaching a hive full of thousands of bees is like calmly going to war, but them not knowing that you are their overall nurturer. You adore them and respect them, but they love their queen and colony more! They will protect their empire by risking their own lives.

I must tend to them calmly, even with the rush of adrenaline that could only hurt me more! I remain vigilant of my own possible destruction, all while having a steady hand. I listen to them and do my best to anticipate their needs, but I also know when I’m not needed.

Gathering my supplies and making sure everything is in order before I leave them is bitter sweet! I am drenched with sweat and relieved to remove my suit!

I sit back and take note of their activity and watch them from a distance as they fly off into different directions. The pursuit of pollen and the love of their colony outweighs their potential harms they could find themselves in, but they must go. My only hope is that they return safely, as a beekeeper to feral bees, I can only do so much!

For the love of Bees,

Kaylee Richardson

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