Robin DeMark talks to her honeybees.
Jo Daniels does, too, but in a singsong voice.
They, along with veterinarian Kirby Harriss, are among the queen bees of the Beekeepers of the Neuse who love working with honeybees and listening to the calming hum of their hives.
"I talk to them and say, "Girls, how you doing today?'" DeMark said. "You learn to listen to them -- if it is a calm hive that day, or if they are a little agitated, and you learn as a beekeeper how to approach your hive. I think it is a symbiotic relationship between the beekeeper and your bees.
"You very much learn their activity. You learn what the super bee organism is all about, and they learn you, too."
The beekeepers are looking forward to sharing their love and interest in bees with the public during the annual National Honey Bee Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, at Waynesborough Park.
It is a free event.
It will be a time to help educate the public about honeybees, their importance to agriculture and hopefully to help people overcome their fear, the beekeepers said.
It also is a way to introduce the public to beekeeping as a hobby, they said.
"The honeybee is actually a very gentle insect because their goal is to take care of the queen," DeMark said. "You have various bees. You have worker bees, you have nursery bees. They all have jobs, and you have forger bees out there getting the nectar and the pollen and bringing it back. That is what their focus is.
"It's really that they are so focused and intent on what their objective is and that is make the honey, get ready for the winter, for the queen to lay the eggs and keep the population up. So what you learn right away it is very, very gentle."
In fact, honeybees won't bother anyone at all unless someone bothers them, she said.
Beekeeping is a joy and one of the most relaxing activities she knows of, Daniels said.
"Believe it or not, your bees know you," Daniels said. "They learn to know you. I sing and hum to mine."
Bee Day is a family-oriented event with plenty of activities for children, and beekeepers will be on hand to answer questions, she said.
"During Bee Day there will be the children's bee hive which has several different stations from them dipping candles assisted by a representative of Charles B. Aycock (Birthplace State Historic Site)," DeMark said. "We are actually using the bees' wax for kids to dip the candles in and then they get to keep them.
"There is a section where they will be able to put on children's size bee suits and see what it what it feels like and see what that equipment is."
It will also feature glitter facepainting and bee cutouts where children can put their face through the cutout.
"Beatrice is our mascot, and she will be in her full bee regalia, and she is really, really good with the kids," Daniels said. "The kids will have the opportunity to make headbands with antennas on them and decorate it any way that they want to."
One of the first things people might think of is are they going to get stung, DeMark said.
"But everything that we do for Bee Day and our education classes, everything is done like through an observation hive that we will have set up," she said. "People will be able to look at the bees, watch the activity. It is enclosed and very safe. So it is a chance for you to get close and not have to worry about getting stung."
Bees, particularly educating the public about the state insect, are the focus of Bee Day, but there will be a variety of activities including performances by the DeColores Dance Group.
"They are just absolutely gorgeous," Daniels said. "Their costumes are all handmade by the mothers and girls and guys themselves. They are little children on up to about teenagers.
"Also new this year, people may have seen it at the county fair, the Christmas trees that different organizations did that was in the building where our honey booth is and they made ornaments for the trees out of seed -- every kind of seed in the world you could think off. They are absolutely gorgeous."
Everyone wanted to buy them off the trees, but they were not for sale, she said. However, the women who made the ornaments will be selling them during Bee Day.
Baxter's Bees will be selling soaps, candles and a variety of bee-related items except for honey. Beekeepers of the Neuse has the exclusive rights to sell the honey, Daniels said.
Food vendors will include Southern Snack Shack, Cone of Ice and Bo Bo's Berries that features chocolate-covered berries. Homemade ice cream, hot dogs and hamburgers will be on sale also.
Music will be provided by the Flat Mountain Dulcimers plays folk-style music and was a very popular group at last year's event, Daniels said.
The band Empty Pocket is also making a return appearance. The band plays a little bit of every thing and the crowd loved the group last year, Daniels said.
The Eastern North Carolina Vintage Farm Equipment will set up a sale/swap meet and the Wayne County Master Gardeners will have a booth.