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By Rhiannon

About 15 years ago my husband Roger got into bees in a big way. It all started with his sweet tooth...he loves honey. We had moved to a smallholding in Ceredigion Wales and had land so he thought what better way to get an unlimited fix of honey than to keep bees. He joined the local apiary and a lifelong passion was ignited. It rubbed off on the whole family. My first experience at the apiary was when I picked him up from a bee keeping course and he excitedly showed me the hives. It didn't go well...a bee flew into my hair and the buzzing sent me into a panicked frenzy. I was running around like a headless chicken screaming and wailing in my typical drama queen way. Irma one of the experienced students grabbed me gently by the shoulders and said STOP. Stay calm the bee is gentle and won't hurt you. She managed to retrieve the bee and I bolted to the car still slightly hysterical but embarrassed that I had reacted so extremely to the buzzing creature with a sting in its tail. I had no interest in bees our only connection being a love of flowers.

As Rog learnt more about the honey bee...the hive and it's queen his enthusiasm was infectious. I started to get to know the bee keeping community and over time caught the bug myself. Bees are beautiful and fascinating. Our kids loved watching their Daddy look after his bees learning to help him by stirring sugar syrup for feeding and lighting the smoker. They spent hours watching him tend the bees and the best part was collecting the honey from the comb. We had a small hand spinner and spent many happy hours in our Tin House filling jars full of golden liquid. We had honey on everything...even chips!!  Kidding!!

Those days of slow living were filled with beautiful memories and gave our kids a love and appreciation for nature. On the day I went into labour with our last baby our son Gabriel aka Wolfie my contractions became intense quite suddenly and we had a 40 minute drive to the hospital. I just remember Roger asking if he had time to check the bees before we left. I said NO and probably just as well as our baby would have been born in the car. Today May 20th is World Bee Day and we have a serious problem. Over a million bees are facing extinction and it's our use of pesticides that's killing them. If we don't have bees we face extinction which is a sobering thought. There are many informative articles that are worth a read and I've linked a few below

Why bee extinction would mean the end of humanity

Saving bees save ourselves

Plant a bee garden

Our family have planted a bee friendly garden and we don't use pesticides. Yes there are plenty of weeds (some are pretty) but it's a small price to pay when our flowers and herbs are full of bees and butterflies. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the articles ...have you planted a bee garden or are you a beekeeper? Thanks for reading this.

BEE Happy!! (Sorry ...couldn't help myself)

Love Rhi