What is beekeeping really all about? I guess that all depends on who you ask. Some may say it's about saving the bees. Some may say it's about honey. Others may say it's all about science. We agree with all of those. Tranquil Hives LOVES our bees, learning the science behind their behavior and who doesn't love that golden honey? However, most days we are working the hives, what goes through our heads is that we are learning the ability to adapt and adjust.
Working with bees is all about learning and adapting but only if you are willing to work WITH them. Most of our hives are similar. They are calm, easy to work with and have amazing queens. We have re-queened a few but for the most part we let the bees do their thing because we figure they know best. However, in the beginning of our adventure, we tried to do the same thing for every hive. Smoke, work the hive, close the hive, write notes, repeat. It didn't work. We had a few hives that were mean. They were aggressive, didn't want a beekeeper coming at them and it was almost impossible to work the hive. We thought long and hard about getting rid of the hives. One of our beekeepers enjoys morning coffees among the bees. She will go to an apiary, sit next to the hive and drink coffee. She decided that she would try to do this with the aggressive hives. She began to notice that they had no problem with her as long as she was there just to sit. They would crawl on her and be the gentle bees like all of her other hives. However, when she would try to work the hive (smoke, work, close, write notes, repeat) they would get aggressive. She started to realize that for whatever reason, these bees HATED to be smoked. When she stopped smoking them, they would let her work the hive just as calm as all the other hives. The smoke wasn't hot, no discernible reason as to why they hate the smoker. They just do. This lesson changed the way Tranquil Hive does things. We no longer see our hives where you check the box but individuals that have their own needs. We keep notes on if they prefer to be smoked or not. We listen to the hum and know when they are starting to get agitated, not by them having to bump our veil but by being in tune with them. We decided we needed to adapt and adjust, not that they needed to.