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Thursday May 17th, 2001, 2000

It seems that the more there is to write about, the less time there is for writing.

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.

Normals for the period: Low 4. High 18

Sunrise: 5:42 am   /   Sunset: 9:22 pm

Friday May 18th, 2001, 2000

Adony emailed me some material today and I spent a good part of the day making a new page to deal with hygienic queens.  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.

Friday: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind increasing to west 40 gusting 60 in the afternoon. High 18.

Saturday May 19th, 2001, 2000

It's a dull, cool, windy day and we slept in.  Plans were to go and see Jean and Chris in Red Deer today, but they have an appointment to go home shopping with a realtor, so plans are on hold.

Today: Mainly cloudy. Wind increasing to west 40 gusting 60 km/h. High 14.
Tonight: Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers. Wind diminishing to northwest 30. Low plus 2.

Normals for the period: Low 4. High 18.

Sunday May 20th, 2001, 2000

We slept in and poked around the house today.  Dandelions are getting bigger.

Today:  mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of showers or morning flurries. Wind northwest 40 gusting 60 km/h. High 11.
Tonight: Clearing. Wind diminishing to northwest 20. Low plus 2 with risk of frost.

Normals for the period: Low 4. High 18.

Monday May 21st, 2001, 2000

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 beekeeping apparent.

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 balanced interviews.

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 have them.

"Robert Talk" <rtalk@mailandnews.com> 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.
Mainly cloudy. Wind northwest 30 gusting to 50 diminishing. Low 6.

Normals for the period / Low 4. High 18.

Tuesday May 22nd, 2001, 2000

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 normal.

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.

Wednesday May 23rd, 2001, 2000

Today: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 gusting 40 km/h this afternoon. High 28.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. Wind light. Low 8.

Normals for the period: Low 4. High 18.

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