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When Idiots Keep Bees

We finally got a swarm of bees this spring! I put the lovely Warre hive boxes that hawkiye made to use at last! When the time came to add a box, I was living on the farm in the RV, the only bee book I had was "Beekeeping For Dummies" (a much loved and used gift!) and I just flipped to the page about adding a box. I went out and put the empty box on top of the full one. OK, my husband put it on top, but I was the one who said to do it. It had only been there a few days before I remembered that is one of the differences with Warre boxes, and we went to move it. Too late. The bees were already just building up, instead of down.

This kind of grace has kept us going on this entire venture. When we screw up, nature finds a way to cover our tracks. In this case, what the bees are creating is just stunning to me, but then maybe I am biased. I am awfully grateful to them for joining our little funny farm, and learning how to get along with the weird humans running it.

For the record, neither my husband nor I have been stung at this point. But then, we have not tried to harvest any honey yet...


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Raising bees

Always beehave bee kind. And bee good to your hives. Never kick the bee hive. Bees never sting except when you mess with the hive. I have caught bees when they swarm. They don't sting when they are away from the hive.

Money talks and dogs bark

Cool pics.


When *good people* keep bees.

I've missed you, fishyculture. Glad to see you're back. :)

I don't know if you saw my post from a while back. I'm not a beekeeper... yet! But in the biodynamics course (a kind of organic farming/gardening), we learned some things about beekeeping, also about the honeybee crisis.

You might want to check out Spikenard Bee Sanctuary as a resource. And some *gorgeous* photos!!! I know Gunther Hauk, its founder along with his wife, doing God's work here in his "retirement." Prior to that (his *first* retirement project, when he still lived in NY), he started the biodyanamic farm and for ten years ran the course I took. His bees are not suffering the same plight as so many others. http://spikenardfarm.org/

Incidentally, when I took the course, the beekeeper at the time (Chris Harp, a "bee doctor" in NY/New England) brought our class up to the hive. Neither he nor anyone in the class had on any protective clothing and we got UP CLOSE!!! Our noses were inches away as he opened the hive and we looked for the queen. Beforehand, he'd told us not to wear black. Also, he said that if anyone was afraid of bees, not to come forward, as the bees knew and would sting you. One person stayed back. No one was stung.

He said that these days people smoke hives with chemicals. He gathers (non-poisonous) sumac branches and burns that to smoke the hives before opening. Maybe you already know this, but he said that, when the bees smell smoke, the scouts leave to investigate the source and to look for some place to evacuate to, if necessary; and that, in the meantime, the rest of the bees totally focus on eating - since (in case they'd have to start a new hive) they might not be able to eat for a while.

Your pictures are wonderful! Good luck, and keep us posted! Again, welcome back!

P.S. I really enjoyed Sue Hubbell's "A Country Year" - her account of her own start at beekeeping.

P.P.S. I hope Celeste comes back, too. :)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Thanks for the links!

We don't suit up. We wait until that change of energy that happens at dusk, and then we go down and very calmly do what needs done. A few bees will come fly around us and check us out, but they have never acted aggressive. We have peekaboo windows that allow us to check in on them, that is how I got the pics. We can walk up to those anytime. I suspect there are many "bee whisperer" secrets to be learned - thanks for pointing me toward some!

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

TwelveOhOne's picture

Just read two volumes about Dogwood Mudhole, recommend them!

Hey fishy! Great to see you here again.

I have been getting a daily gold and silver commentary from Franklin Sanders for a couple years. He went to jail for holding forth the law, that transactions in currency do not require taxation (he was "buying" and "selling" gold and silver, which the Constitution states are currency). He was exonerated later (described in the first book). They moved to Tennessee just before Y2K, in case the electricity went out. Fascinating story; they got horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, ducks, turkeys, and also bees.

Excellent stories in there. The third volume isn't out yet, I'm looking forward to it.

I read that you're supposed to add from the bottom in his books -- neat that the bees helped you out. :)

Today we just saw 10 turkeys out by our garden (which is thankfully on tables, so they couldn't disturb it; they were cleaning our back yard of parasites though, and for that I thank them!). And back in October or so, two deer came down off the hill and were stripping bark from the trees, while we were entertaining by our fire pit.

Hope to hear more about your adventures!

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
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BMWJIM's picture

Nice to have you back Fishy.

Hope you are doing well.

1976-1982 USMC, Having my hands in the soil keeps me from soiling my hands on useless politicians.

please keep us posted on the hive!

I've been reading up on keeping bees... something the wife and I have talked about doing once the kids are a little older. I'd love to learn from another idiot's mistakes before I make 'em myself!

At their inceptions, the #Liberty, #OccupyWallStreet and #TeaParty movements all had the same basic goal... What happened?


I once had some bee people come take a hive out of my wall. It was fascinating to watch and the honey was good!

Fishy- good to see you back in my list of posters :-) many ++++ for forgiveness

No need to get stung.

A veil and bee suit and bee gloves, and then duct tape your pants legs to your shoes and your gloves to your sleeves. Totally close off all the nooks and crannies where a bee could get to you, because they will if you don't. I believe in going the extra mile.

Political Greeks disparaged those on their own.


Bees haul pounds of nectar back to the hive to be reduce to make honey.

Have you ever laid near the hive to watch where the bees are going?

Glad to hear you've been as busy as a bee!

Free includes debt-free!

Hey fishy,

Nice to see you again. :)

Yeah Fishy

gem of the Jubilee. Anything is worth it to have you back.

I was Oyate.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

I heard that when you smoke the bees to quiet them

inorder to take their honey, if you make a regular habit of smoking them with Marijuana they will produce better grade of honey and they are able to survive the onslaught of Roundup.
Nah, only kidding ... could be though ... ya never know.

Looking at the subject line Fishy

I half expected to see a youtube of some city person open up a box and go at it with a spoon. And run off down the street whoppin and hollerin like their head was on fire and their tail was catchin.


Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

very cool! i would be too

very cool! i would be too afraid to harvest the honey! lol

If you walk blindly through life, you will run into a lot of walls.