“They will be happy with you, because YOU know what you are doing.” No pitfalls, no losses for you. Sadly, the old cemetery joke comes to mind. “They just can’t wait to get in.” Some weak hives just deserve a quick and final burial. (Bug riddled plants are the same.)
The Trickster Beekeeper! Or perhaps, the Rube Goldberg experimenter
|Be it a Flow hive, Warre or even a bottle hive these beekeepers will try anything on just for the try. Personally, I might have a problem with Warre’s but managed to use them as top mounted nucs on my Langstroth’s. I am a born dumpster hunter as well, making hives out of water coolers or whatever is cheap and available. Extra mason jars? One uses them and make comb within the jars. Now I am onto putting the BEES into large water bottles and hanging them from trees.
Mind you check the video above. Two bottles are mated for this to work.
The Brother Adam The monk and the honeybee, or Lorenzo Langstroth The Hive and the Honey Bee, who influenced modern beekeeping more than any. Entomologists like Snodgrass. The Anatomy of the Honeybee and so, so many more. I will regale everyone with these adventurers of long past. Their writings may look a bit stogey, but to me they are always interesting and surprisingly quite pithy and true even to this day.
|Other recent books deal with social issues as well as does Honey Bee Democracy by Thomas Seeley. The consensus politics of the hive sure sounds nice.
And just how, did those bees make it to Australia on sailing ships or how and when did bees get transported to South America by the Portuguese or Spaniards?
I believe the most avid beekeeper is always an investigation of oneself. You get to know yourself best by immersing your efforts in something you can learn from. Be it Entomology, Hive keeping, Queen rearing there are hundreds of books to jump into. ‘And after 40 years of learning and thinking I had it right I keep finding the floor falling out from under me with each new discovery.’ Greg.
There also is the “Pay Attention to Me” would be beekeeper. The one who gets a hive as an impulse thing or a present. The more expensive the better because frankly it is a great way to draw attention to oneself. Wear a beekeeper’s shirt and you are sure to get some questions at the store checkout line or party. If indeed they take the time to learn more about bees (rarely done) it is so that they can pontificate questions about beekeeping and the honey they have made. More often than not they appear at bee club meetings and sit down like bumps on a log and expect to be entertained as if attending the meeting is some sort of recreational activity. Even worse they dog someone more experienced and expect them to tell them that the Flow hive, not even put together yet (still in the box) would be good.
Most bee clubs also have at least one member who is the “Always Right Person.” Be it Warre, Longbar, Langstroth they know it all. They will also be the first and last to tell one that this is the only way to do it. Nope. That is so not me, I often test things just to see if I can tweak them to work in a different way. Failures are as accepted as successes as I get great joy in just finding out what works. — The kid who experimented with gibberellic acid and magnetic fields on his cactus seeds. Maybe I should put grounding wires on my hives and see how that works? Would they respond to music, easy enough to provide as I work around them in my garden. So, color me a hybrid between the “Mad Scientist” and the “Pay Attention to HIVE, beekeeper.
Funny how aging creates certain edits. Having come down with a disability I must now view myself as the “Lazy Beekeeper.” These days I am left thawing out memories of the days I would rip hives out of attics or climb up a ladder to take a swarm out of a chimney. Those days are gone. Today’s reality means switching from ten frames to eight frames or even plastic hives.
Personally, I find the investment into my beehives health and wellbeing brings the same to my own. Like pruning a tree and opening it up its shape it is meditation of the best form. You focus and stay in the moment when you are working with thousands of bees, listening to their sounds and smelling the product of their labors. Meditation that is productive. There is the honey on top of all if one does this well. This is the observant and Meditative Beekeeper.
I would be remis in mentioning the Skulking Thieving Beekeeper who brazenly comes into your apiary and steals your hives.
The best I can say is that in beekeeping I am ever learning another part of myself, just like my garden. My garden can change at any time, at any age … just like this hybrid collaboration of beekeeping and nursery work called out to me and I am not quite finished with it yet.
(C) Herb Senft 2023