There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. --- Henry David Thoreau

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best -- " and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do,
there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. -- The House at Pooh Corner

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ho Hum

[Next post from the original first year blog. Edited to update it.]

Another blog from another new beekeeper. The web is full of them, the webrings overcrowded with ‘em. Lots of ‘em are dead, or long forgotten, or languishing with no posts for the last half a year, prolly ever since the package bees first absconded, or the blogger died of anaphylactic shock next to his new hive, or maybe the spouse found other tasks to assign ….

So why put one more beeblog up on the net?

Well, I was standing over by the fence in the cyberspace beeyard and noticed a couple of things: First, there was a closed gate so that it was hard for a certain group to get in. That group is all the world-savers, tree huggers, environmentally conscious and aware activists who are busy doing their world-saving, tree hugging activist best to deal with their own tasks, whether it be whale saving, tree sitting, anti-nuke protesting, or the thousand other pieces of business that we desperately need to get on with across the planet. But in the back of all their minds is one more nagging thought that somebody ought to be focusing attention on the poor bees and doing something about their plight before they all go missing like all the dolphins did a la` “So long and thanks for all the pollen!” Beekeepers as a whole – while a sizable minority of them are themselves world-savers and environmentally aware folks who “get it” – beekeepers as a whole are speaking another language. Since I have some (ahem) readership amongst these world-savers, I figure I could blog my way towards switching that nagging thought with some information that would be understandable to them.

Second, the organic, sustainable, no-treatment-no chems, bees-know-best, survival-of-the-fittest, regress-back-to-the proper-bee-size Bee Guardians have yet to make a serious stab at providing adequate cross-over information that Warre`/Top Bar Hive using newbeeks (Beek = slang for beekeeper) find it very difficult to acquire in their beginning efforts. There is the tendency for the established beeks to speak code based upon Langstroth language and trust that TBHers can translate, surmise or generally apply non-TBH methodology to their fledgling operations. (There are a few notable exceptions, and you’ll find them in the links section of this blog.) But on the whole there are gaps in the beginner’s knowledge base that remain unbridged.

I figure that as I go along, I’ll get us TBH newbees some real answers that we can write down somewhere and pass on to the next class. Less reinventing the wheel; and less trying to adapt inadequate search engines to scrounge through disorganized bee forums where the information lives in dribs and drabs. Maybe we’ll eventually get a little pamphlet, website or smallish paperback full of how to actually do TBH splits, engineer SC foundation to TBH shapes, redesign hive plans to account for regional temperature and ventilation issues, blah blah blah, yadda x 3. See? There’s some stuff left to learn in Beginning Bee class. I’m gonna take notes and post ‘em here.

Okay. So I start out as a newbeek, with one skill in my favor as I go about beginning beekeeping. My dad was a Master Carpenter and I worked with him for a lifetime. I can build stuff outta wood. Killer bee hives. (No … not “Killer Bee” hives, Killer “bee hives”) I’ve built two Kenyan type TBHs that now sit in my friend’s garden out at Eagle’s Rest. I’ve got two more in the shop, and I’m studying Warre` designs for next season.

I joined the Beekeepers Association
and I’m on the Swarm List,
and the hives have been sprinkled with lemongrass oil
and the lady beekeeper down the road will prolly give us some bees if all else fails.

Lemme know what you think, what you need asked and answered ….


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