I Chimed A Metal Bowl 

Chaitanyamoi Chetia

© Copyright 2023 by 
Chaitanyamoi Chetia

Photo by bigworldinalens at Pexels.
Photo by bigworldinalens at Pexels.

I came out of the house with a bell metal bowl along with a table spoon in my hand. My uncle was standing near the bee hive and looked at the bees moving everywhere above his head in a circular manner, and flying near the walls and windows of the house. He told me to make sounds by knocking the spoon to the metal bowl continuously so that the bees would not fly away. I took a medium sized metal bowl and kept knocking which we thought would be useful to calm down the terrifying bees. Chiming the metal bowl made a melodious ringing sound, though the bowl was heavier for me to hold in one hand and making continuous sound with a spoon with the other hand.

My effort to calm down the outrageous bees worked, for after some continuous circular movement up above in the sky the colony of bees thronged at the outside corner of the window wall. I ran to glance at the bees from a close distance; soon as my uncle saw me, he immediately forbade me.

“Don’t come close to them, they will sting you,” he said, “they have become very ferocious now, and they might sting at any moment.”

Sometimes I spent a little amount of my leisure hours during school holidays near the bee hive. The bees had attacked me quite a few times, and so I feared them the most. Bees had stung me in my toes, in the fingers of my hands, and it had also stung me in my forehead. My forehead became reddish and the area remained swollen for two days after the bee had stung me. I still remembered that awful pain I received in my forehead, for which I was bed ridden.

Bees had been increasing in the bee hive for the last few weeks; bees had been entering inside and some bees had been coming out of the bee entrance; and there was always the buzzing sound of the bees. At such times, in some seasons of the year, bees used to move to other places; and it became vital for the bee keeper to acquire a new bee box and shift the colony of bees to the new box.

There was one abandoned bee hive box with brood frames which had been lying in the store room of our house for many years. I thought of transferring the bees to that abandoned box; so I cleaned the inside and outside of the box and the brood frames and kept the box outside to let the sun’s rays enter inside it.

“Bees don’t like to stay in this box. The wood of the box is disliked by the bees,” my uncle said, as he thoroughly looked at the box.

During the rainy days, I need not have to worry about the bee hive because the top cover of the box was covered with a soft silvery white tin.

It was said that most of the bee boxes were made of palm trees; and bees loved the palm tree wood. Bees disliked other boxes made of other woods, and they used to abstain from such bee boxes.

I was letting the sun’s rays fall into the box that I had taken out of the store room. Many a times, bees had entered that box, but they did not stay longer there.

Most of the time my uncle extracted honey from the bee hive; he had most of the safety bee kits necessary for protecting the body from bee strings while extracting honey. He had in his possession the gloves, and the face hood; he wore them and took a nylon net bag so that he would shove the entire colony of bees that had assembled in the outside corner of the window wall. He carefully opened the mouth of the nylon bag and enlarged its mouth to let the colony of bees get inside the nylon bag. The bees entered the bag, and after that he tied the bag; and after sometime, he transferred them to the bee box without any difficulty.

“You have completed the most difficult thing?” I said to uncle, as soon as he was able to get all the bees transferred to the box.

“The most difficult thing is yet to be done,” uncle said to me, as the colony of bees would have to be transferred to a new bee box. I was also disturbed for a moment because bees did not like to stay in that bee box for a long time.

“Now we are in possession of two bee hives,” I said to uncle with a little happiness.

“We will have to purchase one new bee box,” uncle said, “bees will not remain in this box for many days.” “Do you know where boxes are sold!”

“Yes, I know,” I said.


“You and I went to that shop last year, but we came out empty handed because all the boxes were sold out.”

“Let us go there and buy one,” uncle said and we all hurried to the market.

The bee hive selling shop was open then, and the shop also used to sell pure honey.

“We have come to purchase a bee hive box!” uncle said to the vendor.

“I am sorry, the boxes are sold,” the vendor said.

“When will you bring.”

“Wait for ten days.”

My uncle and I became remorse at the news.

I remembered once my uncle’s friend came to our house a few days ago. He told us that he had four bee hive boxes: two boxes were active with bees, while the remaining two boxes were empty without any.

“Your friend has got bee hive boxes,” I said to uncle.

“How do you know?”

“Once he came to our house and said about it.”

“We will have to get one, otherwise the bees will come out of that box.”

We immediately went to that house from the market without wasting any time.

We were lucky that uncle’s friend was confined to home at that time. We met him and told him that we had arrived here to fetch a bee box.

I saw in his house boundary two active bee hive boxes and saw the bees collecting pollens. Uncle’s friend took us to his store room and he brought one bee box outside and dusted the entire box and handed over to us; we were delighted then.

Coming home we cleaned the entire bee box from inside to outside thoroughly. This time, uncle again put on the gloves and the hood and came to the bee hive box where bees disliked to stay. In great mirth he opened the upper cover of the box and was surprised to see that the bees went out, the box was empty, only two or three bees remained there.

I was remorse when I came to know about it; I opened the box to see for myself, and saw two or three bees there. Though uncle was pensive at that moment, he did not show any regret, and he took the thing lightly. There was continuous discussions between us about the fleeing of the bees.

“Let us forget about it,” uncle said, “and let us be careful next time.”

For three or four days this painful incident came to my mind frequently; while walking in the afternoon near the field, the fleeing of the bees would disturb me; weeks later I was able to console my mind, and now I was free from those anxieties.

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