We have no idea what we are doing.
I am reminded of this simple, yet perfectly true fact several times a day. When four sheep are fenceless in the time it takes to move them from one place to another. When we're navigating the tricky waters of homeschooling older children. And most definitely, when my bees up and leave their hive to swarm. Just twelve mere months into my role as beekeeper. When I am just beginning to get the courage to even give them a hello without my heart in my throat. Ahem.
Of course, I took the class, I read all the books, the almighty Google is always a finger touch away, I call upon the local peeps, and I count a great bee mistress amongst my dear friends. But when it all comes down to it, when suddenly one late spring day my hive of bees decides to split and up and swarm themselves right on into the sheep pasture where they most certainly do not belong, well....that's exactly another moment in which I am reminded that I have no idea what I'm doing.
Because at first glance, at first discovery, tears begin to well up in my eyes. What am I doing?! I can't take care of these bees, for goodness sake! We are unfit beekeepers to have not acted quickly enough to prevent such a thing...to not have known this was coming! I have failed my bees. I am in over my head. And frankly, I'm not in the mood to deal with swarming bees right now, anyway.
But then I look up into this tree, at approximately 25,000 clustered bees, and realize that the pity party I am throwing myself in my head is really quite beside the point, and that I'd best do something about these bees. Stat. For in Maine, they shall not survive on their own. They are, indeed, in the way of the sheep. They quite possibly will bother our neighbors. And there is dinner to be made in thirty minutes for those kiddos of mine, and a baseball game to prepare for after that. And...and....there's only time for action.
Just in that moment, as I'm standing there quite in flight or fight mode myself, the lovely man with which I have chosen to take this path with, this lovely man who didn't even take the darn bee class, this lovely man who is quite adept at surfing the waves of life....well, he's laughing. Because, you know, it is quite funny. All of it.
With that little shift, I can see past the obstacles, nuisances and even the fear into the awesomeness of what's really going on*. There is a swarm of bees right in front of me, who have just acted in a most magical and natural way, and we are watching it all unfold. What a blessing to see.
"How boring," he reminds me "would it be if we knew everything already?"
And so. The swarm is captured. Sheep are in their pasture. Alongside these children of ours, we all continue to learn.
*What's actually going here? Those bees, they swarmed! A bee swarm is when a colony 'reproduces' itself by, in this case, splitting in half and taking the queen to find a new home, leaving behind the other half of the colony, along with a new queen in the making. They're quite docile in the act of swarming, as they're full of honey and pollen to take with them. We saw ours 'practice swarming' on Mother's Day, after which I tried to give them more space and shake things up a bit in hopes of convincing them to stay, so I could properly 'split' them myself. But they had their minds set on swarming, and did so the next day. Once we found them (Adelaide did), we scooped them into a nuc box, then eventually into their own hive where they're living quite happily now. Phew! While I'm not sure I'm up for making swarm capturing a regular gig, I will tell you that the whole thing was truly awesome. Those bees. They're amazing.