A Place to Land.

A while ago I had the immense pleasure of having a honey bee swarm in transition stop over in my yard. It was this beautiful bustling ball of energy looking for a place to land, to be. Surprisingly my first thought was “I know what to do!!” I don’t keep bees, I don’t really know anything about bees, but I had seen on our local Craigslist an ad a few weeks prior and in that moment it flashed in my head, “Bee Removal.” I ran inside and searched for just that on the listing page and it sprang right up!

The gentleman that answered the phone, a member of the local beekeeper association, sounded sincerely excited that I had a swarm for him. Our conversation was brief, an exchange of information designed to get him to the location and able to contact me if he couldn’t find it but that small exchange had me really stoked to see just what this guy could do.

When Todd pulled up to the house in his big white suburban with his wife his energy was contagious, I’m talking swarming bee colony type energy! “This guy is crazy!” I was thinking to myself when his wife started speaking. It was strange you see, his wife was so calm and serene, the kind of person you would expect to work with bees. When she spoke it seemed to drain any anxiety I might have had at having a ball of 30,000+ bees teeming right next to us. In fact, her voice was magic as she walked up to the bees and strangely, mesmerized, I followed. Both of us taking pictures, me listening to her tell me all about them.

Todd went straight to work, pulled out his snips and started removing the ivy the bees has twined themselves with on the fence post. He didn’t wear any special gear, he just went in knowing the bees and knowing what he could do with them. Snip snip snip…  then he’d throw some facts in at the same speedy pace… then take some pictures with the bees, he never stopped moving. Todd was certainly the polar opposite in personality from his wife.  The bees started to stir quite a bit as he cut away at the vine, flying around in larger and larger numbers, farther from the main cluster. There were bees everywhere and I stayed with them, among them, watching… learning. There were thousands of bees in the air and I just felt awed. The day was gorgeous, the sun shining, my family was with me and I had this once in a lifetime experience taking place in my front yard. I was grateful.

It’s simple really, at the end of the day one bee swarm, led me to one little ad, then to a single man, an amazing experience and he in turn openly invited me to his community. You see, there are a whole bunch of local people who love bees and hope to share that love with others, and it made me think about just how easy it is to connect with people and how inviting our community here really is. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find an unusual plant or turn over a spectacular rock and find a community.

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Rachel Baldwin

Rachel Baldwin

Hi. I'm Rachel. I grew up in the Tri-Cities. Been here most of my life, tried to leave for a few years claiming Eugene, OR as a temporary stopping point, but inevitably came back. Something always seems to bring people back here! Go ahead, try it yourself someday, it's uncanny.I'm a backyard chicken farmer, supporter of keeping it local, allergic to gluten, mother to a shining star and wife to a nerd.

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  • I don’t personally like bees, but I really liked your post. You showed them to me in a new light. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • melanie

    I love this!

  • Sara Taylor

    It’s true, Rachel. I was in Eugene before coming back! (And how wonderful is it being married to a nerd, right?!)

  • Rachel Baldwin

    I was so excited to hear you have your very own bees. We’ll have to make a date and come see them.

  • Rachel Baldwin

    I loved how green Eugene was, and Saturday market down there was great. I just love being “home” though, my family is here and it just pulled me right back. I hope that my nerd feels the same way!!

  • Rachel Baldwin

    I’m not a big fan myself, well I wasn’t. I’ve been stung one to many times and chased by a swarm of wasps once. This experience really let me see a completely different side of bees. I find myself advocating them now and looking for them everywhere I go (I happened to notice a swarm in one of the trees down by Dutch Bros in downtown Kennewick.) Was my pleasure to share.