Can you BEElieve This???
When it’s breakfast time many of us reach for an easy meal: toast. Now, we come to the difficult decision of what to put on it. Many of us will choose to spread jam, butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, or even peanut butter. Among other options, some of us may also use honey. At the hotel in Zorita, we have fresh honey on hand to satisfy our sweet tooth; the delicious honey is locally farmed by a nearby friend, Rodrigo. Although he doesn’t have to, Rodrigo is kind enough to share his amazing honey with us. On two occasions, he even invited volunteers to visit his bee hives. Once offered this opportunity, I was immensely surprised to find myself raising my hand to be a volunteer. Looking back, I’m glad I did, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have known what an unique experience I almost missed.
He passed out large, protective apparel to guard us from potential, painful stings. We nervously put them on and faked bravery for the camera before we left. After the short car ride to the hives, Catalina drove back and Rodrigo took all of the volunteers “under his wings.” He first walked us around the area so we could get a good idea of how he maintains the hives. One part I will always remember is when Rodrigo opened up one of the hives and pulled out a golden honeycomb on a rectangular wooden plank. He then proceeded to hand it to us, and we soon fell into the routine of taking some pretty sick photos.
Lastly, he brought us to some of the most aggressive bees in the world (if not the most aggressive), the native Spanish bees. Sadly, we didn’t open that hive, but we got to see some of them exit the hive and feel them lightly bump our suits. Since I got past my initial fear and did something out of my comfort zone, I have a new outlook on bees based on what I learned about them. After doing this crazy and amazing tour, I won’t hesitate the next time I am able to volunteer to raise my hand.