Have you ever given advice to someone and then found yourself not taking that same advice? Well, I’m guilty.
This week Suki and I planned a quick check of our hives during the warm weather. We were anxious to take a peek at the girls and see if there was any brood and if we could see evidence of a healthy queen.
Although it’s early March, the warm weather has most of the bees gearing up for spring. The girls are already beginning to bring in pollen and nectar. However, simply looking at the hives on the outside doesn’t give us the full picture of how they’re doing, so we have to open the hives (on a warm day) and examine the frames.
Now, my advice has always been to be suited up and to always have your smoker lit when you go into a hive. But I thought, Really, the colonies aren’t too big yet so the bees won’t be a problem — after all, they’re just now “waking up” from their winter rest.
We checked the hives near the house and most of the bees were pretty calm. All seemed to be well. Where we ran into trouble was when we went to inspect a hive 30 minutes away from the main bee yard. We were so confident the inspection would go well we didn’t even bother to take our smoker with us.
We pulled the cart up to the hive, suited up, grabbed our hive tools and began to pry open the top box. By the time we got the top box off the hive we realized we were in trouble. Hundreds of bees began boiling out of the top of the hive looking for a fight.
Because honey bees can fly up to 15 miles per hour, we couldn’t outrun them. Our only solution was to get as far away from the hive as possible and pray they would give up and go home. Most bees do, but there are always some stubborn girls in the bunch who won’t be satisfied until they have made their final, fatal deposit of poison in your body. (By the way, jeans are no protection against a bee sting!)
The bees ran us off three times before we were able to get the hive put back together! (It would have made a hilarious video!) With over 20 hits from our girls as we ran away for the third time, we soon lost count of their stinging reminders of our folly! It was not a fun day.
Okay, my lesson …
- ALWAYS have your smoker lit.
- NEVER wear dark pants.
- DON’T dismiss what you already know.
How many times do we do that with God? Sometimes I think, God, I don’t need Your help here. I’ve got this. After all, I have almost twenty years under my belt in missions and Bible teaching so I have learned a thing or two. Those are the days when I get over-confident in my walk and I end up stepping out with no protection. And even though I know better, I almost always get “stung.”
While one sting may not bother most of us for too long, twenty or more of them will certainly remind us of our presumptions. And, guess what … the Bible calls that “pride” — Ouch! (I’d kick myself if I weren’t already sore from the bee stings!)
Pride is one of the few sins that’s often tolerated in the church; yet we forget it’s the all-consuming sin that got Satan kicked out of Heaven. Pride is something we all have to deal with almost daily. It’s sneaky and often slips in to our thinking before we realize it.
So, my lesson …
- ALWAYS remember you have an enemy.
- NEVER presume you know what God wants.
- DON’t neglect the Word of God.
You never look more like the Devil than when you’re operating in pride. It’s the characteristic that defines him and he will insinuate ideas in your heart that cause you to embrace that pride. And when we presume, we’re basically saying, God, I don’t need you in this. — that’s pride. Finally, it’s the Word of God that keeps us on track. Knowing His Word gives us a foundation of truththat reminds us God is God and we are not.
So, I dealt with my pride concerning the bees, but I still have to go back to that hive soon. However, I guarantee you, next time I’ll have my suit zipped and my smoker lit.
What’s been happening:
I was able to introduce some folks to bees at the Shelbyville – Bedford County Library last month. The staff at the Library were so gracious and prepared a room for me. We had a good turnout and I was able to talk about my bees and sign a few books, too.
This past week I was invited to speak with the Rotary Club in Murfreesboro. I met a great group of guys who really have a heart to serve their community. Bees are the perfect illustration of community service. I told them I think the honey bee should be their mascot!
And today I spent the morning with a wonderful group of Garden Club Ladies at the River Bend Country Club in Shelbyville. Obviously, I love gardeners because they are planting the flowers our bees need. I was impressed with the many planting project they have planned.
My upcoming schedule:
Thursday, March 8: I will be signing my book at Linebaugh Library in Murfreesboro from 12:00 – 3:00. Stop by and say hello.
Saturday, March 10: I will be one of three speakers at the Christian Women’s Conference of Middle Tennessee in Shelbyville, TN. (I’ll give you more details in another post.)