Monkey Bees... March 21 2017, 1 Comment
I meet Beeks from all around the world - both in person when they have travelled, and also online. Some of the best hive management advise I have had was from fellow Beeks on line, and even though we haven't met, it's been great developing relationships and sharing knowledge about bees across the globe.
I met a Beek from England recently at the Shop and he told me this story that I have to share with you all!
So this Beek keeps bees in a designated organic area in the south of England in Dorset. His hives also happen to be within coo-wee of Monkey World. And yes, there is a real place called Monkey World (they rescue primates, rehabilitate if they can, help governments prevent illegal smuggling). So, one afternoon he gets a call from a nice Monkey Lady (or possibly Monkey Man!) asking him if owned the hives that were next door and if they had possibly swarmed? They had a swarm of bees at Monkey World.
Regardless of whether the swarm was from his hives, he asked if they would like them removed. With a polite 'yes please', said Beek gathered his beekeeping gear, a spare box and drove out to Monkey World.
He was escorted through the centre, later in the afternoon just before feeding time. And was promptly pointed to the chimpanzee enclosure. There was a large tire in the middle of the enclosure, with a lovely neat swarm tucked into it. However, there was also a large family group of chimpanzees. Loose. In the enclosure.
The Monkey Lady gestured to the gates and promptly started opening the first safety gate, and the Beek was like:
'uh, 'mam, I can't go in there'... the Lady looked puzzled and asked, 'but why not?'
'um, because there are ravaging monkey hoards in there' (emphasis mine, this guy was pretty English)
'Oh, they wouldn't hurt you, just don't make any sudden moves, I mean, your bees are waaaay more dangerous' (again, emphasis mine, because, again English = stoic)
'I would really, rather prefer if there wasn't chimpanzees in there while I collect the swarm'
'Mmm. Well, I suppose I can sort something out'. And with that, mumbled something in a two-way and a loud whistle sounded. The chimpanzees looked up, and scuttled out of the enclosure, and into another area - the secure night area out the back. After reassuring the Beek, with a mild look of bemusement, that the chimpanzees would not escape just at the moment he swept the bees into the hive, he carefully stepped into the enclosure.
The rest of the afternoon went by smoothly, with a lovely swarm caught in a box, and taken away, sans ravaging chimpanzee hoards!