It seems that the more there is to write about, the less time there is for
I apologise for not writing more in this diary. Moreover, I realise
that this is a very condensed and selected tiny potion of my thoughts and a
very shadowy reflection my of my daily existence , yet it has become
important to me in that it is an attempt to describe the indescribable.
Sometimes I spend an hour or two writing several paragraphs of personal
email. When I do, I am sorry, in a way, since I could be writing more
here. Writing to me is very difficult, and I write and re-write what I am
saying many times before I am done. I used to think that I was a good
speaker, and have been considered so by others, but when I see how hard it is
to say exactly what I mean in print, I wonder.
Writing and re-writing is, for me, an excellent method of self-discovery and
development. Although I wrote a bit before, joining BEE-L was the
beginning of my serious writing. I have now been on BEE-L for over
seven years. It is one of my favourite vices, drink being another and I
leave it to others to delineate the rest. While on the list, I have
encountered many people I would never have met elsewhere and been forced to
reconcile and co-exist with them. It is in trying to explain myself
clearly in that context that I have been most challenged.
To be continued.... (or deleted)
Today: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind northwesterly 20
km/h increasing to west 30 gusting 50 km/h this afternoon. High 16.
Tonight: Clearing this evening. Wind west 30. Low 2.
Adony emailed me some material today and I
spent a good part of the day making a new page to deal with
It started off as part of this diary entry, but grew and took on a life
of its own. I hope it has some impact.
A mix of sun and cloud. Wind increasing to west 40 gusting 60 in the
afternoon. High 18.
Here is an article I wrote to sci.agriculture.beekeeping
I went to your site and watched the video. I appreciate the effort
you have put into this, but I still stand by my previous comments.
Although the reporting was somewhat sensational, it was not entirely
unbalanced and is what is to be expected where there is no advocate for
The media and community reaction was IMO normal and predictable,
given the terrible job beekeepers have done in keeping positive
information in front of the public. Norman Gary and his sort have not
helped our cause and some beekeepers deliberately cultivate fear in the
public or refuse to take the time to present bees and beekeepers in a
positive light locally. Others simply abuse the public and the media for
being ignorant and afraid, rather than being sympathetic and helping
allay the fears.
Apparently the local people and the media in Texas knew nothing
about bees, and naturally some were afraid. The 'expert' that was called
had not addressed the fear -- and let it escalate. The media did not have
any beekeeper friend to call to help them interpret the situation.
If the public and the media are ignorant, then it is our problem to
solve. We can either spend our energy deploring this type of episode to
an audience of the converted, or get off our duffs and make sure that the
media understand us and are on our side. If we don't want to see more of
this kind of incident, then we need to get out and do some missionary
work *before* things like this happen.
People have less contact with agriculture these days and we need to
get good, positive messages into the schools and the media. Our
associations need to send annual letters with honey and posters or fridge
magnet or trinket to the media in their areas saying they have people
available 24/7 to help them understand bees and beekeepers and to provide
Although the beekeeper in this incident may or may not have been
within his rights, a little PR ahead of time and when the incident was
underway could have helped a lot. I gather people had trouble locating
and identifying him and therefore approached anyone they thought could
help them before he appeared on the scene, putting him at a disadvantage.
There are always conflicts when agriculture and civilization meet.
Odds are that sometimes things will work out this way. Right or wrong,
sometimes we lose. Sometimes they lose. Win/win is much more likely if PR
is in place before something like this happens. Imagine if the media in
this case had found it easy and natural to call one of us up to get the
beekeeper's perspective on the story.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I'm perfect in this regard. I do
very little missionary work and often move bees in without alerting the
neighbourhood. My excuse is that it us usually only a comparatively few
hives and not in a populated area. Nevertheless, I must confess that I
did have 1,000 hives on my place -- in a hamlet -- one spring. My
neighbours know me and found it humourous. We are in a predominantly
agricultural area, too.
When I go to a convention and see somebody, usually a woman or
hobby beekeeper walking around dressed as a bee and explaining how she/he
goes to schools and events to tell about bees, I am very grateful. IMO,
these people do more good than a some of those who sit on boards or run
for office in associations, and get far less respect from most of us. If
we are approached by neighbours who want to work with bees or want us to
put bees near their place, we have those strangely dressed people to
thank for the impression they made on school kids or other groups of
interested people and the goodwill they built up in our favour.
We need more bee missionaries.
Learn more about why hygienic bees are important and how to make sure you
"Robert Talk" <firstname.lastname@example.org> posted in
>You really had to see the video to get a good idea of the sensationalism
>of the reports. My comments are at:
>"Allen Dick" wrote in message
>> I read both the articles and found them to be quite objective and not
>> negative towards bees.
Mainly sunny with increasing cloud this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest
20 gusting 40 km/h. High 17.
I'm out in the yards quite a bit these days checking and adjusting hives.
Some yards are fantastically good, and some are horrible. The losses so
far from last fall are 22.4%. I suspect we'll shake out some more and
wind up at 25% winter loss. That is a pretty normal loss for us, but some
years things have been much more even.
Right now, I would say that the bees are running about two weeks behind
Today: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind increasing to west
20 gusting 40 km/h. High 23.
Tonight: Mainly clear. Wind west 20. Low 8.
Normals for the period: Low 4. High 18.
Most of my writing time the past few days has gone into developing and
refining the hygienic queens page.