Monday, June 18, 2012

Beekeeping Anyone?

When was the last time you saw a honeybee? Not a Yellow Jacket, wasp or bumblebee, but a regular honeybee? Unless you are a beekeeper or know one the answer is probably that you can't remember when that last time you saw a honeybee. The worlds population of honeybees is on the decline and most of the blame can be put on companies like Bayer, Monsanto and other massive chemical producing corporations that spew out tons and tons of chemicals that are proven killers of honey bees. Remember - when the bees are gone, so will be most of the food we eat. About the only crops left to eat will be corn, rice and wheat. NO fruits, NO vegetables.

SO - Who wants to be a beekeeper? Getting most people interested in becoming a beekeeper is like trying to convince someone that a bee-sting won't hurt. They do hurt and I'm not ashamed to say it. I have been stung so many times and they hurt EVERY time. Over time, you do stop having that knee-jerk reaction to jump when you get stung, but it still hurts. You can minimize the pain by scraping the stinger out with a fingernail asap after being stung and that lessens the venom that is being steadily pumped into you. But it still hurts. The sting is the reason most people are afraid of becoming beekeepers.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE BEEKEEPERS! The younger the better. We need somehow to get younger people interested in this world saving hobby, but how? That is the problem. The world today revolves around technology. Most unaware people when asked about beekeeping talk about 'the old days' or "my granddad did it", etc. Beekeeping is MORE important today that it ever was before. It doesn't employ the latest technology. There are no big screens, or flashing lights or whiz bang gizmos involved. Just a few pieces of wood, some door screen and honeybees. The bees take care of the rest.

It is hard to convince a 10 or 11 year old that being a beekeeper is more fun than playing Skyrim. It's hard to convince an adult that you get used to the stings, which you do, but they still hurt when you do get stung. Wearing the proper beekeeping suit and learning how to handle bees is how you minimize bee stings. Yes you will get stung on occasion and yes it will hurt, but that is all part of it. A fireman gets burnt, a policeman gets shot. It comes with the territory and we accept that as part of being who we are and doing whatever it is that we choose do.

It is hard for me to put into words how fascinating they are, how perfect they are, how needed they are.

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