Decades ago, my friend Aerial Gilbert (right) was a beekeeper. She loved the sight, smell and feel of bees in her hands – like any crazy beekeeper will try to convince you is a magical thing.
When Aerial lost her sight, she had to forego some things – only a few – for safety. After living with bees for eighteen years, she tearfully gave her hives away. But now, she’s ready for a comeback. She joined the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association and got a beekeeper buddy to help her.
She’s wearing the white suit again, and overjoyed with two new hives in her backyard.
When she told me she listens to her hive with a stethoscope, I got an idea. I have some professional sound recording equipment. Why not drop a mic in and find out what it sounds like in there?
And that we did. We heard the ping of bees landing on the wire mesh bottom screen. We heard fanning that sounded like a jet fighter. And we heard the hum of a super-organism, a collective happy sound that all is good in the family. Take a listen yourself.
We plan to keep testing with different microphones, so stay tuned for sound updates on this blog.