There are those that can and those can’t. And those that can’t, teach. I am fearful that I come in the last category destined to be a professor of last resort. I grew up hearing this “can and can’t” saying of old and it’s troubling to have put so much effect in to something I love so much, but still be unable to make everything work the way it should. I am rambling about Beekeeping after spending much time and work in the hobby that has become my obsession, it seems. I think I know less now than I did 30 years ago.
Taking into account the changes beekeeping has undergone in these 30 years, we may all be a little behind. There are at least two new kinds of mites, new species of hive beetles, dangerous pathogens both new and old, not to mention chemicals, which are now thought to be the cause of a new sort of hell on the poor honeybee. Not to be dramatic, but plagues of biblical proportions have been experience by both the honeybees and the bee keepers.
You may ask why someone so distressed would not just move on to something less stressful, like raising chickens. My wife said I couldn’t. Enough said.
Now that all the gloom and doom is out of the way, let’s get on with this article that is supposed to give hope to old and new bee keepers alike. The aforementioned warning is something a prospective new beekeeper should consider before buying their first bees. Once they get past all of that, let me tell them there is no other hobby or vocation that can give so much back to them in the way of satisfaction as bee keeping (and I have tried a few).
In light of sparking new excitement for beekeeping, I would like to list some of the joy I receive from beekeeping, or rather a listing of “Greg’s Favorite Things”.
· Making queens (my favorite)
· Working with Nucs and Splits
· Finding swarms, catching swarms, keeping swarms and figuring out why they swarm and dreaming up ways to prohibit swarms
· Wintering bees (this is most difficult)
· Experimenting with survival queens
· Harvesting and eating honey made by your own bees
· Just sitting and watching the bees go about what bees do and have for millions of years without us
Yes, it is worth my time and yours, if you are one that can enjoy just one of Gods greatest creations.
In closing, let me say I think one main trouble honeybees face today is PPB (Piss Poor Beekeeping). I’m guilty and I am sure many others are as well. Let’s all pledge to start the New Year with a promise to ourselves to learn more, do the best we know, and teach the little we do know to the next generation of beekeepers, in hopes that they will see a renewed love for the art of beekeeping.