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Bees and a Fearful Wife

 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 559
Location: Soutwest Ohio
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At some point I would really like to own honey bees, but my wife is afraid of them to the point that she refuses to have them anywhere near. All I have gotten her to agree to so far is mason bees somewhat grudgingly. Discussions of logic don't seem to make a difference, so I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to get through on an emotional level? Either something to help her overcome the fear or something to change how she feels directly.
 
Burra Maluca
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I found this book to be a really nice introduction to nervous would-be beekeepers. It's very attractive, full of pretty photos and seems to be geared to making bees seem as cute and fluffy as possible. I've converted a few 'wives' with this book!

 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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is she afraid of bees that already visit your garden? unless she's standing right next to the hive, she probably wouldn't notice a difference. maybe propose placing the hive someplace that she could easily avoid it.
 
Jessica Gorton
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Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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I used to have a really strong phobia of bees. I'm still a bit nervous around them, and I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable taking care of a hive, but it's gotten a lot better. Mostly, it's just having been put in situations where I'm around bees going about their daily buzzings, and sort of figuring out that they really aren't interested in me.

Maybe you and your wife could spend some time on a farm or homestead with some hives? It's pretty amazing to stand near a hive and feel and watch them buzz right past you, completely ignoring your existence. Just make sure she's not wearing strong scents or clothes with bright flowers on them! I really found that just living around them and forcing myself to relax in that situation has really desensitized me to my fear...
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm in the same boat as you, except it's my husband who's afraid of bees. He hates them as much as spiders, saying, "Even if spiders spun gold, I wouldn't raise them. No way we're having bees. I don't care if they make honey" and "if you get a bee hive, I'll just smash it to smithereens." The funny thing is, a few years back, while we were camping, he decided he wanted to "see for himself what would happen" if he swatted at a yellow jacket. He did this for a day and a half before one finally did the predicable thing and stung him. Now he's afraid of bees. Sigh.
 
Laurie St.Lyon
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Location: Watford (On the NW edge of London) England
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Fear is rarely logical.

The best way is for her to join a bee keeping club/society,
Then she can see for herself from inside a bee suit at a distance she chooses there is nothing to fear.
Moving closer each time over a season she may well end up as a bee keeper.

I was not too enamored of the idea but my ex-wife was so she took a course and got some bees and I ended up as the bee keeper!
I have two colonies now and she none!

One step at a time.

Your other option is to keep them somewhere near your home rather than in it. A neighbors garden? Farmer field? Bit of scrub land? Bees are adaptable just ensure they have forage within a reasonable are and a source of water.
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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My mentor is always telling me, "Turn your vices to your advantage. "

Is she prone to covet what friends and acquaintances have? She might want bees if a friend gets some.

Is she prone to vanity or showing off? She might want bees if she thinks it will impress somebody.

Is she prone to spite? This is more of a stretch, but perhaps there's someone whom she wants to bother more than she wants to be bee-free.

You get what I'm saying. So far, a conversation in the pattern of, "I want something"; "Well, I don't want it" hasn't worked. You might try a new pattern.

Good luck! Bees are wonderful. I just picked up a package and installed them this evening.
 
Peter Hartman
Posts: 171
Location: springfield, MO
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I have always been a little afraid of bees, passed down from my mom. I got over it"

 
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