What is Buzz?

July 11th, 2007

I’ve been thinking of doing another ‘big’ post about SEO and a little strategy that’s jumped out at me recently.

Since sometimes doing one big post is a bit overwhelming, I’ve decided to just write about one little minuscule part of the post first to whet your appetite.

Buzz is the noise that bees make.

My first experience with bee keeping was on my school camp, about age 16. My particular school had a 10 week outdoor education curriculum – every grade 10 class would head out to the school farm (“Ironbark”) for 10 weeks – the aim was to be pretty self sufficient – we had to milk the cows for our milk, make our own butter, bale hay, keep (and ultimately cut the heads off and eat) our own poultry, and of course beekeeping was one of the cool things we got to do too.

The (two) Birds and the Bees

Quite early on I volunteered to head out with one of the local bee keepers to learn all about robbing bee hives – of course, there was an ulterior motive. There were only three positions on the “bee team” and the other two had been taken by the two prettiest girls in the class – Shae and Natalie Alexander, (who in my opinion at the time was a complete SPUNK) πŸ˜€ .

I figured that, on balance, the very real possibility of being stung to death by a marauding swarm of angry bees was probably offset by the chance to spend an entire day with them πŸ™‚

So.. off we went. I, being the gentleman that I was, let the girls take the very best beekeeping overalls. I was left with a very moth-eaten pair of blue mechanics overalls.

Handed a roll of masking tape I went about patching the 101 holes in the overalls and set to work. When we first cracked the hive open I remember the beautiful low hum coming out of the hive as we puffed the smoke over the bees.

Sweetness turns to Sadness

Everything went quite ok for about the first 4 (out of 10) frames – we brushed off the bees, replaced each honey filled frame with a frame of fake comb called ‘foundation’ and moved to the next frame.

By the 5th frame, however, the bees were starting to get pretty darn angry. It didn’t matter if I puffed more smoke over the bees, the low hum was steadily increasing gradually more and more guard bees started shooting out kamikaze style and belting into my head net.

I think we had about three frames to go when things started to get really crazy – the hum was now something more akin to a F-16 ratcheting up for take off. The inevitable happened – I’d missed patching a hole, and a bee got inside my overalls and stung me – ouch! But I was super Matt – there was no way I was going to moan about it in front of the two prettiest girls in the class πŸ˜‰

The thing I failed to realise, though, was that when a bee releases its sting it also releases a scent.

Honey, I’ve lost my pants

Before I knew it, I had virtually every bee in the hive clinging to my blue overalls screaming bloody murder.

The girls (along with the beekeeper) cleared out, hopped in the truck and locked the doors. After initially trying in vain to get them to let me in the truck (there was NO WAY they were going to let me in with all those bees πŸ™‚ ), I finally realised I was going to have to get myself out of that particular situation on my own – so I blindly galloped down the hill, stripping off my clothing as I went – heading for the farm dam.

“Splash” – I belly-flopped into the muddy dam (I was about 6 feet tall and 65kg then – skinny as a rake – I must have looked a sight running down the hill with a swarm of bees chasing me and only a hat to ensure my modesty).

I think I spent about half an hour in the dam, popping up every 30 seconds or so for a gulp of air, before the bees finally decided they’d had their pound of flesh and headed home πŸ˜€ . The girls thought it was absolutely hilarious – I still hear about ‘Matt and the bees’ occasionally when I run into old school friends. We counted 65 stings on the way home.

Beee vereee vereee careful wit zee bees

Stupidly, after that introduction, I became a bee keeper – I still have about 10 hives.

I’ve learnt a few things about bees since – if you move slowly, methodically, it is actually possible to raid a hive without any protective clothing, nets or smoke at all – it’s not hard.

If you move quickly though, or you happen to accidentally squish a bee, you’re in deep trouble. The bee next to the one that has just been squished tends to tell his neighbor (buzz – buzz), the neighbor then buzz’s to his neighbors and generally in a matter of seconds you have a hive full of very irate bees.

Bees, Buzz and SEO

Buzz is their form of communication. Buzz is how they get things done. Buzz is the very thing that binds the hive into the co-operative society that it is.

In short, buzz is like an amplifier – in no time flat a buzz from a solitary individual in the hive is capable of mobilizing the forces of the whole hive to a dedicated purpose.

Buzz, my friends, is a powerful force.



Entry Filed under: SEO Discussions

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joni  |  August 10th, 2007 at 9:28 am

    WOW, you do tell a great story Matthew! I can hear those mad bees and those girls laughing. You are brave too to take on bee keeping after that. I wouldn’t have tried. Thanks for making me laugh and teaching me something at the same time!

  • 2. Anthony  |  December 5th, 2007 at 4:40 am

    Great post I had a hard time locally finding information on beekeeping. The local book stores had NOTHING on the matter..

    I found a book that was actually quite good for free from snipfiles (they give away books that most people sell). I want to share it for all you other beekeepers in training.


    Again it’s free – nothing required to download it

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