Tag Archives: risks

The Buzzz on Bees

Day 55: Off to a bee farm

There they are, in all their glory!!

Anyone who offers me a glass of wine as soon as I walk through their front door earns a special spot in my heart! Don and Fran have earned such a place. I went to visit their bee farm last weekend and I guess they realized a glass of wine would do nothing but help as I faced my fear of bees. Bees rank pretty high on my list of fears, for the following reasons…

The first day of grade one I was feeling good, playing tag and just loving life in general as any happy healthy six-year-old would. Anyways, that changed the moment I ran through a wasp nest. I was wearing overalls that day. I haven’t looked at a pair of overalls since. There was screaming, there was blood, there were tears, and there was a whole lot of calamine lotion being dabbed on a little six-year-old who stood in the nurse’s office wearing nothing but her knickers. If you don’t think that is a scarring incident, you’re weird!

Fast forward 15 years without any major incidents worth mentioning about bees, and BAM, I’m stung by a bee on a first date. That date was cut short, my hand was swollen for days and there wasn’t a second date! I hate bees.

So, yes bees are now a fear of mine. When I arrived I was scared, but on the verge of being excited so I knew it couldn’t be that bad. Here’s the first thing worth sorting out – the difference between bees and wasps. I came in being afraid of these insects with stingers in general. Fran pointed out that bees are quite nice and she explained the difference between bees and wasps to me. Turns out bees are cute little things, with adorable furry yellow jackets that really have no interest in stinging you. Bees will only sting if they are handled in a rough manner or feel their nest is being threatened. If they sting a mammal or a bird, they will die, so for them, to sting someone or something isn’t exactly at the top of their ‘to do’ list. Wasps on the other hand are evil aggressors who are out to get you! You’ve been warned!!

Wasps have a smooth stinger, easy to insert in and out of the victim. Bees have a barbed outer sheath, like a fish-hook that can tear their insides out and also makes it torture on the victim to remove.

After a glass of red wine, some beautiful shots, and a whole lot of new found information about bees our adventure came to a close and I can now check bees off my list of fears. Wasps are still there because we should all be very afraid of those aggressive slender bastards with tiny waists! Love bees, hate wasps.

Men losing their wings. Seriously.

Here they are. Can you tell how close I am?! I was very explicit in letting them know I am a friend and not in any way shape or form a threat! They understood and I didn’t get stung.

All wrapped up for winter. CANADA is cold.

This is it!! This is where the magic happens!! They’re all wrapped up because winter is coming and they need to keep their nests at 80 degrees Farenheit.

My dad and The Bee Man himself

Don explains the life of bees to my dad (Don on right, Dad on left).

Please look extra hard! Kickin' the males out. Brutal attack. Lazy men.

Please look carefully at this one. It’s cool! When winter comes, the workers (women) kick the men out of their nest because the men are lazy and do nothing but eat their honey and the women have NO NEED for that so they kick them out, fight them, chew off their wings and leave them for dead! Yikes. They mean business!

More bees I suppose.

This is cool too. Those buggers with orange/red stuff on their sides are the bees responsible for bringing pollen back to the nest for protein. Their back legs are flattened to carry the pollen. You can see the two that are carrying pollen.

All facts are from the bee keepers themselves… soooo I hold zero responsibility for the aforementioned.

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Running in the dark: Ghost sighting in Lion’s Valley

trek or treat: running in dark scary places with ghosts

10km of bloody limbs strewn all over a ghost trail is most definitely my idea of an awesome race! 17 severed heads on course to be exact and 9 haunters to kick up your adrenaline in the last kilometre. The Saucony Trek or Treat  race is Canada’s first ever night trail run in Oakville’s 16 mile creek.

Pumpkins marked each kilometre and 379 reflective course markers were used to lead the way so head lamps were a necessity as you creep through Lion’s Valley. As history goes, Lion’s Valley was once a thriving village but all that remains are three cemeteries perched high above the valley. Ghost sightings are common and with the erosion of the river, claims have been made that empty caskets have been washed up during thunderous storms.[1] This marks the perfect spot for Canada’s first ever night trail.

It’s been decided at this point that I’m afraid of the dark[2] so to run my first ever 10km race in Lion’s Valley seemed suitable for my challenge of doing stuff that scares me. I walked into the St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre to see ghouls everywhere; literally though, people wore costumes for this race. To say this race was awesome would be a vast understatement. People got really into it, everyone was there for a good time, and it was super relaxed. Really is the perfect first timer’s race![3]

The route was fair (although it’d be nice to actually go back during the day to see what the hell I ran) but there were a few hills that I wished a ghoul would just jump out and kill me. Although I knew I was in the middle of some valley in Oakville these hills were straight from San Francisco. Believe me when I say I didn’t train for these hills with an incline of about 90 degrees!! Even the fun bloody limbs that were left throughout the trail didn’t help the pain that overcame your body on these hills. Thankfully there were only two of them.

First 10km race can be checked off the list of fears and I’m very excited for more races. Not sure how I’m feeling about Canada’s winter races. We really are crazy! Happy Running and Happy Halloween!!

finished 10km CHECK!

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you! 

[1] Thank God I didn’t know any of this until after the race.

[2] Lame.

[3] No problem to beat your time on your second race as running in the dark in the freezing cold doesn’t make for the best/easiest running conditions.

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