Monday, August 20, 2012

National Honey Bee Day

Earlier this year, I signed myself up for an all-day workshop on beekeeping at the local IFAS extension office.  At the time, A was traveling for work; I e-mailed him the info & asked if he was interested knowing full well he wasn't.  Imagine my surprise when he e-mailed that he WAS interested.  So I signed him up as well.

After he got home, it became QUITE CLEAR that he had not actually looked at the attachment.   He did not know what the workshop was about, he did not know how long it was; he only thought he had been away for so long that he thought he should go to be "nice".  The registration was only $10, so even though it was no great investment, once registered he decided to go.

As a result, he learned more than he ever thought he would never/ever know about keeping honey bees.  The work shop was very thorough, a few different speakers to a group of about 20, maybe 1 or 2 more or less people & almost all of them in pairs.  People were thinking about bees to improve their fruit harvests, add honey to their market stalls & just because.

They were also all sorts.  There was the hippy looking couple wanting to go expand their organic garden
Mr. Hippy-looking-gardener came up at the break-turns out he got his degree in chemistry & A had frequently collaborated with his former (now at a different university) adviser.  There was an older-than-us couple, Mr. Older-than-us relied heavily on a cane.  They were particularly distressed that the state of Florida requires an annual hive inspection because the bees are vulnerable to many ailments that can be easily passed from hive to hive (this is done at n o charge to the hie owner, nor is there any licensing fee or anything like that for having a hive; the suggestion was to treat this visit like an opportunity to get some free advice about your hive from a person with a lot of experience in the field).  They did not like the idea of government being so involved in their lives becasue the gov't never does anyone any good.  The presenter pointed out in the politest of terms (really) that they were sitting in a gov't building attending a seminar paid for in part by local gov't.  In the regular irony that is life among the gov't-phobic, I overheard same couple at the end of the program explaining how they did not have to pay for the seminar becasue they were both on disability.  There was one woman who was working on her Master Gardener certifications & was there observing the presentation made by her friend, doing the community education portion of her certification.

I was fascinated.  & yes, I do want to get some bees but I could see we first needed to do a lot of work to get ready for them.  Not bee-specific work, but clearing & pruning type stuff that no one wants to do right next to a beehive.  No one with any sense anyhow.

I had planned to go to the local Honey Bee Festival this past Saturday, but we were up to our eyeballs in other stuff & never made it.  I am planning on observing National Honeybee Day by watching Queen of the Sun.  If you have Netflix, you can watch it on Instant, at least for now.

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