Our bees

I grew up in a small farm like house.
On average, we had eight beehives per year.
I still remember the sound they made when collecting pollen and the sound they made when being disturbed and angry.
My grandfather used to collect the honey.
All he needed is covering his face with a mesh, gloves for the hands and a bit of smoke. And all we needed to do is closing the windows that faced the beehives.
After his passing, my father looked for a person who would do that same job in exchange for a fee.
Indeed, a man came forward and claimed that he had the knowhow in collecting honey and agreed on a fee with my father.
When the day came, he turned up with his kit and he was shown the beehives. He was then left to do his job. We, the people of the house, thought it would all happen with no incidents as usual. When suddenly, one angry bee entered the house and was swirling around. Then a second, then a third, a fourth… As the numbers grew, my father reacted quickly and ordered all windows and doors be closed and cracks be filled with clothes.
It took hours before the noise from the bees returned to normality.
We slowly opened the door to realise the full damage caused by one man’s pretence.
Our dog passed away as it could not survive the stings of so many bees.
Surprisingly, the chicken and the cats were not harmed.
The shops and the post office, about 1/2 mile away closed for the day.
We were told later that the person who came pretending knowledge of bees, was seen running for his life. We have not seen or heard of him since.
It became clear to me that there was no affinity between him and the bees.
The bees will not hurt you if you do not hurt them.
The people of the town were kind in those days and let my father be.
Subsequently, the beehives were relocated to the countryside and we never kept a dog after that event.
Anyway, it only took a month or so after that incident, when my father found a new person who had experience in dealing with bees. This time, though, the new person asked for no money. He only wanted a small share of the honey that is to be collected. My father happily accepted the deal.
On the appointed day, the man came with no mesh, no smoke and there was no need to close any doors or windows. He went on to collect the honey and take his share. That day went peacefully for us and for the bees.
We failed to see the man of chaos and the man of peace, but the bees had their ways and dealt with them accordingly.

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