I have been studying bee keeping on line. I learned and practiced the technique of introducing the Queen into the hive. I was pretty anxious about the "big dump", which is essentially the process of dumping the small colony into the hive. The on-line You Tube videos make this look pretty simple. In reality, it was terrifying. As instructed, I calmed my bees by spraying them with sugar water. After settling them down, I attempted the "big dump." My bees went crazy. Instead of going into the hive, they swarmed me. Apparently bees have a keen sense of smell. I discovered in an horrific way bees most definitely can smell fear.
After extricating myself from this seemingly life harrowing experience, I checked the wooden box my bees came in to make sure they weren't labeled "Psycho African Bees."
Later that night, I was at the Naches Ward building and ran into Stephanie Peterson, a Laurel in our stake who also happens to keep bees. I asked, "Hey Stephanie, what do you use to calm your bees?" She responded, "I just smoke them with weed." "Weed? Really?" I mused. Now there's some interesting advice. I was curious about how I would get the weed, and what the legal repercussions might be. Then it dawned on me, maybe she meant that she uses common field weeds to smoke her bees. I inquired. Sure enough, that's what meant.
After my first encounter with my bees, I'm not sure common garden weeds will do the trick. They might need something a little more potent to soothe their spirits. Fortunately, we live in Washington State where weed is now legal, so obtaining and using weed is not a legal problem. The challenge is obviously a moral dilemma for me. I am an officer of the court and have a reputation to uphold. Furthermore (and most importantly), there is the likelihood I would not pass my next temple recommend interview. So, what to do? Place myself in mortal danger by exposure to Psycho African Bees, or reduce the anxiety in both my bees and myself by smoking a little weed in the back yard? So, if you notice a glassy look in my eyes the next time you see me, you'll know how I resolved this dilemma.
Don't worry. In the end, I'm certain my confidence will grow with each bee encounter, and that the extreme anxiety which is producing the fear my bees are smelling will eventually evaporate. Until then please send soothing thoughts my way.
My first hive.
Novice Bee Keeper.