Br. Anselm is the monastery’s bee keeper. It was not something he ever thought he would do, but it is just something that he got into a few years ago. He appreciates the work outside, which is a pleasant break from his usual assignment of teaching philosophy. He now has five beehives.
I suited up alongside Br. Anselm to take these pictures, up close and personal with 60,000 bees. He warned me that it can be an unnerving experience at first with so many bees swarming around, but the suits should prevent you from getting stung. He assured me that my camera would not get hurt either. Fortunately I did not get stung or panic.
I took a couple hundred pictures, and some of the pictures will be used for an article that will appear in the Summer 2014 issue of Tower Topics, expected to hit mailboxes in mid-August, so keep an eye out for that.
Below: Br. Anselm says that the smoke calms the bees down a little. I say, let’s use a lot of smoke then.
Below: Armed with his tools, he is ready to go to work and check on the hives.
Below: Br. Anselm scans the different sections to see if he can locate the queen bee. Eventually, he finds her and identifies her among the tens of thousands of drone bees in each hive.
Below: Bees, making some honey! They are pretty remarkable up close like this.