Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Need Help

Really I do.

Have I told ya'll yet that I've been studying beekeeping. I don't know why this started, little things here and there peeked my interest until I went for it and signed up for a course last fall. I was hooked, they are the most fascinating beings - love them !! The weather turned too quickly into the nasty winter we endured so we didn't get to play with them hands on and I've just recently gone back to do that part of the course. That morning I had a mixture of excitement and nervousness and really wondering what the heck I was doing? Once I was there by the hive I lost myself into the wonder of the bees, the hum, they busyness,  the work they do, how their society works, the pure genius of their creation, and they were just so damn cute.

Now I guess I'll get to the point of where I need help. Seems bees are struggling to survive these days and we are to blame for this weakness. They require more care and you have to go into the hive more than just to steal their honey, but to also keep check for disease, pest etc and each time you inadvertently squish some bees. The instructors have also told me that to maintain strong hives and prevent swarming (bees leaving) among other things I'm gonna have to re-queen periodically which will require me to purposely kill the old queen. As I was whining  inquiring (more than once) about this the class began to rag me and someone said "you can't name all 60,000 of them". You see I can't kill anything, well except mosquito's, ticks, deer flies and maybe one or two more but they ask for it.

I don't see wanting to not squish any cute little honey bees as a problem but this morning it hit home that I've got a bit of an issue. We've got fire ants but who doesn't. In the past I've not really done anything about it and they've pretty much stayed off to the side and we've respected each others space. Well recently I had some kids over and while wondering around I kept having to point out mounds to stay away from. Then I began to notice them building new mounds in the middle of the pastures. The final straw was when I found them in my composted manure I wanted to spread back on the pastures and around the yard. I reluctantly bought something to treat the mounds and the directions were to do it early morning when they were active. So this morning I go mound hunting, toxin in hand, and they were busily going about there chores minding their on business as I pour the nasty powder over them and their home. The more I covered the more teary eyed I got .... over Fire Ants, geez.

Yep I'd say I've got a problem ;-).


  1. Hey,
    Well you got your tender heart from a pretty special source. She is watching over you, but she would never touch a bee, much less assassinate one.
    The say the first kill is the hardest, but she will have to go. Consider it an election ... out with the old, in with the new. Those workers deserve a new pretty face once in a while.

  2. I wouldn't say it was a problem... but that's because I'd be the same!!

    On the way to work this morning I was nearly crying because the car behind me had a dead bird stuck in its front grill...

    I have to 'let everything go' that I find in the house.

    Its Karma :0)

  3. I'm totally fascinated with bees too! They're little miracle workers. I would LOVE to keep hives, if I lived where I'm meant to live, which is on a farm somewhere, not in a condo currently undergoing renovation. *sigh* I think that's the end of my rant. Anyway...I've even considered keeping a little mini hive of bees that just pollinate, they don't produce honey. Still thinking about that and now, it may be too late.

    I feel the same way as you about killing things. Live and let live, I say. I'm a little less squeamish about insects though, I admit. If I can reduce the amount of suffering, a living creature experiences at my hand, it helps. A little.

    Bring us along for the ride with your new bee project.

  4. What an amazing hobby? And good for you because I think somebody's got to do this because as for me, I am allergic to the little devils!
    And my grandson considers all flying insects to be "bees" well as all vehicles larger than a car happen to be "buss"! Oh well...

  5. My girlfriend used to go on a warpath with ants. I too don't like killing anything (unless it threatens my dogs). My solution was to relocate, relocate, relocate. An ant mound is just the front door so take a big shovel and scoop the whole home into a wheelbarrel and find them another spot with similar settings (sunny with the same amount if grass to dirt ratio). Seems to work for me.

  6. I love bees but I am afraid I know NOTHING. I admire that you are taking this on.

  7. Poor Maria. But I'd have to say I'm pretty much the same as you. I think for the most part, it's a female affliction. I don't have a problem killing mosquitoes because they tear me up, and I really, really hate ticks. I'm always swatting flies off the horses... I love to hover with my hand and then get a bunch of 'em when they're all congregated on the horses' backs.

    But the bees? Yep, I would be sad whenever I killed some, and I would definitely not like having to intentionally kill the queen from time to time!!

  8. I think it's wonderful that you got into beekeeping. One of my favorite books is The Secret Life of Bees. Good for you. But not good about fire ants.

  9. Wow, look at what you are up to now! I have been away for too long. Fascinating!