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 17, 2010
Food for Thought
Here's a coupla items I culled from the beekeeping groups on the 'net.
This first one is all about the chemical crap that gets into honey because of what some of us do to the bees, and what the bees face when they go out a-foraging. "We have found unprecedented levels of miticides and agricultural pesticides in honey bee colonies from across the US and one Canadian province." Yuck! It's going to come back to bite us, I'm thinking. See why it's so much better to keep bees in a natural, organic way? 'Nuff said.
The other one is yet another study on CCD. I'm really ambivalent about it, first of all it's that samo samo "universityscientificmethodology" assumption that some One Cause can be isolated as the killer. Holistic approaches need not apply for grant funding. Most of us are beginning to understand that, nope, it's the whole factory-farm approach; the totality of the things we have done and are doing to the bees; and the overall attitude some of us have toward beekeeping that is at the heart of the problem.
But on the other hand I just got through ranting in those aforementioned beek groups about the myopia that natural organic beeks have related to scientific research on viruses. All I heard was "we're always gonna have viruses! Whut ya wanna go and spend money on yet another research on one for?" and "rely upon natural selection to cull the weak bees, there isn't anything you should do to baby along the weaker bees, the strong will survive" and the always popular "shut up li'l newbie, you don't understand X, Y and Z ..." followed by some ideologically bent lecture on genetics or something. [sigh]
I think it's better to know than to not. It's better to understand a virus being at the heart of some stresses on the colonies than to be a luddite. But that's just my own bias. Read the articles, make up your own mind.
This blog originates in Pleasant Hill/Dexter, Oregon. I try to summarize those little tips and bits of information and experience that no one who writes bee books bothers to explain. I've gathered up what lessons I could from 7 years (so far) of hands-on learning "the hard way"; from asking a lot of questions of seasoned, experienced Beeks; and from paying attention to the 'Net. My name is Tom Warren. [The picture above is of Molly, Ed, Sean and Twinkle, in the Eagle's Rest Garden and Beeyard]
Like many bee blogs, this one tends to not get updated with new posts like it should. (Lots of beeks give up on their blogs because they get busy with the hives and don't come in and sit at the computer) I quit beating myself up about no new posts, instead I've been told that the links and resources being present and updated makes this blog good enough to keep me at it. I'm keeping it active, even if it doesn't look like it. Patience, y'all.
Cut to the Chase ....
If you need to get started keeping bees real quick, THIS SECTIONwill give you tips and guidance on the things you need to do, in the order you need to do them. Then, Dear Reader, start from the bottom up and read about one Newbeek's meanderings toward how to save some of the bees ...