Bovine encounter

I thought it was a good idea to put two hives inside a tall hedge near a public road. You couldn’t see the hives from the road and the bees flew over the heads of any passer by without anyone noticing.  I drove by one day and was shocked to see the hedge cut low exposing the hives. I had my suspicions that this exposure could spell trouble. Not long afterwards, after a hive inspection, I was greeted at the field gate by a dog-walking woman with a litany of complaints. I picked up the words, stings and doctor and child which quite frankly frightened me. I told her that I’d move the beehives immediately.

 Moving bees takes a bit of planning so it was a few days later having prepared the new location more than 3 miles away with a nice level hive stand, I returned with my mentor to prepare the hives for their move. There were cows lazily feeding on the lush grass happily ignoring us as walked across the field. We put straps around the hives and narrowed the entrance so that we could close them up fully and move them quickly later. We came back at dusk. Now I’m not a farmer but as we walked across the field this time the cows somehow didn’t look like cows to me. Bullocks! Not only that, they were curious. We soon heard the sound of 30+ bullocks merrily trotting directly towards us. I stopped in my tracks, shaking in my wellies. My mentor, a farmer, was unfazed. “We’ll keep going.” So, pretending that I was absolutely nonchalant, I continued with what I hoped was the stealth of a Ninja, towards the wired off hives. As we finished closing off the hives I looked up to find the entire heard looking over the wire like we were the best entertainment they had see in years. Or more likely that the hives we were carrying contained nuts.  I swear that the animal feed that is commonly referred to as nuts are like sweets for cattle. They LOVE them. Well, there we were mentor and apprentice walking across the field, in the dark, one hive full of bees each and a heard of bullocks following us at a polite distance. We were just a little more that half-way to the gate when I looked up and on the rise to my left I saw what looked like a most glorious, well endowed, bull, standing majestically in silhouette, only 10 feet away! As if reading my mind, my mentor whispered “Do you see that?”. Followed by “Keep going.” Plodding along, straining holding the full beehives, we made it. I was never so glad to see the gate behind the electric fence.  Setting up the hives should have been exiting but was an anti-climax in comparison. The new place is a nice sheltered spot for the bees, and you can be sure it is well away from road, or bovine!  


3 responses to “Bovine encounter”

  1. I’m with the Indian people, who consider the cow a sacred creature. Cows are therapeutic for patients suffering anxiety. When spending time among cows at night in a cowshed, it’s simply impossible to feel anxious. Between the
    calm sound of their breathing and chewing the cud, peace percolates all! And when you communicate nasally with the lovely creature, you will frequently be rewarded with a lovely wet cow-lick! Aaaah…

    1. That sounds like wonderful therapy.

  2. Dr. John J. O'Connell Avatar
    Dr. John J. O’Connell

    None better! Makes me miss my agricultural upbringing! Joe.

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