I got an email from someone who noticed our cats in a few photos. They asked, “How well do your cats get along with your honeybees?” The short answer is: it’s not a problem.
We have two cats, a young cat and an older cat. The older cat, Nigel, is so completely laid back, it’s absurd. He doesn’t even notice the bees, and so far the bees haven’t taken much notice of him either.
The younger cat, Winston (seen in the photo), will chase after anything that flies. He approached the bees cautiously when he first saw them. Then he got bolder and sat in front of a hive entrance one day and tried to catch a few bees — and got stung in the face. He didn’t make any noise when he got stung, but ran away and tried rubbing the sting off with his paws. A couple minutes later he was back to normal and hasn’t tried to catch a bee since. He will notice bees crawling on the ground once in a while, but even then he’ll just sit there and look. Cats learn fast.
UPDATE (Nov. 25/10): Nigel eventually got stung in the face and freaked out. He didn’t know what to do or where to go. He ran in circles, didn’t watch where he was going and banged into the fence, and eventually ran for the back door and we let him in the house. Now whenever he sees a bee, he runs away scared.
Our other cat, Winston, continues to keep a respectful distance from the bees. As seen in this photo, he gets very close to the hives at times, but seems totally at ease around them.
June 06/14: A video of one of our other cats chillin’ with the bees.
PHOTOS NOTE (AUGUST 2015): The photos in this post may not display properly because they were uploaded through Google’s Picasa online photo album service, a service I no longer use because certain updates created more work for me instead of streamlining the process. I will eventually replace the photos with ones hosted on the Mud Songs server. This note will disappear when (or if) that happens.