Editor’s Piece

Facing My Fear of Bees at Island Bee Project in Brooklyn

Ever since I was a baby, I have been deathly afraid of bees (the fact that I stepped on one and got stung in the process probably didn’t help). So when I signed on to work with Siponey, I had a feeling there may come a time when I would have to visit an apiary full of swarming bees. That day arrived on Saturday, October 16th, 2021. Island Bee Project is a Latina-founded, female-led non-profit organization based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Their mission is to educate, inspire, and spread awareness through public programming and access to local urban apiaries. There are group sessions, hands on workshops and live experiences on site to maximize the value of the apiary.It also happens to be just a few blocks from my apartment. I had to go; this was my opportunity to face my fears. As a content creator, I also felt that if anything, I’d get some hilarious videos of me freaking out. Spoiler alert: I did not freak out (well not that badly anyway). When my colleague Justine suggested I join, she had already been to an apiary before and assured me that it was actually a calming experience. She described the bees as “cute”, even. I thought that was crazy-talk but now, after having done this, I think I agree. That said, the hazmat-style beekeeper suit definitely helped. I don’t think I would have stepped in there had it not been for that. One of the things that I found most fascinating was just how much work these honeybees actually have to do. And how impressive it is, truly. I definitely had one of those “nature is crazy” moments as I stared at all the honeycombs these bees were building from one little line of wax. It’s honestly really cool to see. If you’re still unsure about it, just know that the suit protects you and I felt 100% safe. I think the reason it’s “calming” is because you kind of have to be calm in the presence of bees. You know how they say the worst thing you can do is flip out, move really fast, shriek, run, etc if you see a bee or two? That’s because when you freak out, the bees freak out, and they’ll be more likely to sting. So if you visit an apiary, just remind yourself that they are not there to hurt you, they’re there to make honey. Click here for Island Bee Project on Instagram

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