First Hives

My neighbor Rudy used to keep bees. He would periodically come by to retrieve them when a swarm would settle into one of my Chinese maple trees. He said they couldn't resist my garden, a mixture then of native Missouri wildflowers and garden center sale perennials.

Years later, when I put beekeeping on my bucket list, I thought about Rudy and how he would dress to get his bees - rubber boots, a stained white space suit, chicken wire veil. Those were his best tools.

My beekeeper's best friends include a veiled hat; good leather gloves; smoker; hive tongs and hive brush. I think Rudy would approve.