Keeping Bees

Bee keeeping is very important. Without the bees pollenating the plants the world will starve. You would think that bee keeping and nudism were mutually exclusive? Not so!

My father kept bees. His father had kept bees. I have kept bees, but no longer. I gave my hives away to a friend who has the time and space to look after them.

Jump back in time to the 1970s. My family lived in a quaint cottage in the country. There was an orchard (a rough bit of land with a few straggly apple and pear trees that refused to provide fruit) alongside the house where dad has a few hives. For those in the know they were WBC hives but that’s not really important.

Dad would get undressed, totally naked apart from wellington boots, not a good look, put his head under the cold water tap in the kitchen to wet his hair, then comb it flat to his face. Dad smoked a pipe, Gold Block tobacco, so he would light his pipe and then head out to the hives

My sisters bedroom window overlooked the orchard. Sister and I would watch the proceedings from the safety of her bedroom with the window closed. Dad was a somewhat clumsy beekeeper. He would blow smoke from his pipe into the hives, open them up to look inside. He did not appear to have any purpose in this, he just liked doing it. There were clouds of bees everywhere. Dad messed about for a bit and then reassembled the hives. I don’t ever recall him complaining of getting stung.

I don’t know if the neighbours knew about  dad’s nude beekeeping activities, I don’t recall them ever complaining. The orchard was fairly secluded, but not totally. I suppose clouds of bees might have kept the neighbours indoors.

In the Autumn, Late August or September he would remove some combs and we would have delightful honey.

I started bee keeping in about 1985. I had all the kit. Full suit with head veil, gloves, boots.

I have done beekeeping nude. Just once.  It was for an April Fool joke picture. I had a couple of accomplices. One with a camera, at a safe distance with a long lens plus one suited and protected beekeeper. Once the hive was open I quickly moved in, held the frame of comb while my beekeeper friend moved out of shot. A few quick pictures and I exited quickly. I got stung a couple of times but not on any ‘delicate’ parts. I don’t recommend it at all.

 

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