After four years of living next door to the beekeeper, we are finally looking forward to our first Spring and Summer season completely BEE FREE! Now, before I go on, let me just say that the beekeepers were the most generous and lovely neighbors. We will really miss having them next door. Their little fuzzy flying charges, not so much. We watched them destroy the old home over the last two days. One part of the wall they did brick by brick. The kids have had the best view from our playroom upstairs.
I understand that the world needs more bees. That is a true crisis, but living next door to multiple hives including the feral and aggressive ones that the beekeeper had been called to remove from other family homes has kind of sucked. Hanging laundry outside was an embarrassing dance of bee avoidance. Water fun of any kind lasted only a few minutes before the bees joined in. They took over the wading pool and the slip & slide and once they found the water, they would not leave. Forget walking outside in bare feet, the ground was alive with lost bees having a wander. At least you could see them crawling all over the deck, but the grass was a tiny minefield. At night our exterior walls were lined with the ones who had not made it home before dark settled.
This past weekend was the first nice weather we have had since the bees moved out. It took the stragglers a few weeks to realize that the hives had all relocated. Saturday morning, I had to push the kids out the back door assuring them that we were bee free. By that afternoon, we were all outside enjoying that space that we had long given up on. We even started a fairy garden in the side yard. I can’t wait to have a relaxed BBQ with friends and enjoy the outdoor eating area without having to hurriedly pack up and move inside.
The last few days I have stood on our balcony (also never used because of the bees) and marveled at the silence. I had really been feeling like something was missing and could not put my finger on it. Now I realize that it is the noise. No longer is there the anxious hum of bees swarming that has been the continuous soundtrack of my life in Australia. The stillness is a change as well. The sky was always filled with their dizzying flight path.
As I covered my morning toast with their delicious creamed honey, I said a silent thank you to their efforts and for returning our outdoors.