The Bee Whisperer

July 18, 2012 / Local Interest
Fabrecce, Umbria
A loud humming noise was coming from around the corner, and sure enough, there was a swarm of thousands… tens of thousands of honeybees! They were looking for a new home and had chosen the doorway of the guesthouse. They landed and busily began laying down the foundations with wax. This was definitely a job for a beekeeper friend Alberto Ciampelli.

Alberto and another beekeeper arrived in the late afternoon, (bees are calmer when the sun goes down) and searched for the queen bee, while gathering the bees on a frame and putting them into the beehive.

Bees will only stay in a beehive if their queen bee is there. When they finally found her she looked very much like the other 10,000 bees.

Once the queen bee was safely in the beehive, the rest of bees that had not been rounded up, followed in what Alberto described as the processione – the procession of bees queuing politely to get into the beehive!

The whole ‘rescue’ operation seemed like a miracle, but Alberto said it was simply due to years of experience. Still, he is definitely a bee whisperer!

Jean Tori

by Jean Tori

Artist- Art website: Art blog: Design company: Jean also rents holiday houses in her medieval hamlet in Umbria at

9 Responses to “The Bee Whisperer”

  1. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    My father-in-law Karl was a apicoltori, such deep rich honey was his. it is all gone now as his seven sons did not follow in his path, yet I can still taste it on my pane.

  2. I am presuming that this beehive was one brought to the site and then after the bees moved in with queen bee, the hive was placed in a more suitable location. Is this correct? If not, I am a little confused!

  3. Giuseppe, you must have had some amazing honey!!
    Virginia, yes the beekeepers brought an empty beehive and then Alberto’s friend took it to a place that had quite a few flowers. I saw Alberto the other day and he informed me that they made some lovely honey, but very little due to the heat wave this year.
    Anne, how right you are, it has been really tough on the bees this year, but luckily there is some honey!

    I asked Alberto if they left various empty beehives next to the full ones, so that when another queen bee was born, a new ‘tribe’ could just move in, but he told me that they don’t always choose to go into an empty beehive and that they are very picky where they decide to set up home. So, our beekeeper friends were very lucky that these bees liked and accepted their new home.

    Thanks for your messages, ciao, Jean

  4. lewis murray

    gb…interesting…but how does one say bee whisperer….maybe jean or ann knows…regards, lewis murray

  5. Lin Blohm

    My husband and I have been keeping bees for about 35 years, yet a
    bee removal never ceases to amaze. Such a wonderful avocation. What joy it brings. We love sharing our honey with friends and family. Nice job Alberto.

  6. Thanks, Malinda.
    Lewis, I think it would be similar to horse whisperer, which in Italian is l’uomo/o la donna che sussurra ai cavalli, so therefore, I would imagine it could be translated as l’uomo che sussurra agli api (the man who whispers to bees). I’m sure we could also add, l’uomo che incanta gli api…. The man who enchants bees…
    If anyone has any other suggestions, would love to hear them. Anne, what do you think?
    Ciao, Jean

  7. Dear Lin, it’s wonderful that you have bees! And for such a long time too. And yes, the bee removal was truly amazing. I’ve been in Umbria for 20 years and I never saw it before. Nature is incredible!
    Ciao, Jean


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