This is the day we met our bees for the first time. We were eagerly waiting at our local beekeeping shop with all of the other new beekeepers, and this old man pulls up, his van stacked with boxes, each holding a colony of bees with a queen inside.
Except one or two of the boxes had opened in transit! And so he was just driving around with a bunch of bees buzzing around! I loved that he was just like, whatever, no big deal! Haha.
Big corporations and small, local beekeepers are LITERALLY THE SAME IN EVERY WAY.
Did u know that beekeepers SET FIRE to their bees EVERY WEEKEND??
If it weren’t for beekeerpers, colony collapse disorder wouldn’t have happened.
I saw a beekeeper kick a puppy once, WITH MY OWN TWO EYES.
I know more about bees and beekeeping than every beekeeper that ever lived because I’m a vegan and what I lack in protein I make up for in knowledge
Beekeepers take ALL of the bees winter supply of honey and leave them with absolutely NOTHING so they STARVE THEM TO DEATH
BEEKEEPING = CAPITALISM. DIRTY, EVIL CAPITALISM
(sidenote: if you’re vegan I honestly have nothing against you, but these are based on actual posts I’ve seen from vegan blogs on the subject of bees. And to the blogs that DO post things like this, I encourage you to do your research - and no, not just from sources that encourage your confirmation bias, but to actually challenge yourself with new information. Also calm down on the capslock a tad maybe. Shouting doesn’t help your argument.)
Sun Hives, a new hive design gathering world-wide interest, are part of the movement towards “apicentric” beekeeping – beekeeping that prioritizes honeybees firstly as pollinators, with honey production being a secondary goal. The Sun Hive is modeled on the traditional European skep hive and is aimed at creating a hive that maximizes colony health.
I’ve been obsessed with bees and did a solid year of research on bees. I looked at mythos, folklore, biology, politics, misogyny, anti-beekeeping, poetry, literature, global trade, and anything that was remotely related to bees.
And now, I’m actually interacting with the real bees. Sometimes when I think of the ravages of capitalism, the raw mythological evil of Monsanto, and the hungry ghosts across the globe I feel so small. I don’t know how to stop these machines. I can, however, work on continuously divesting from these machines in baby steps. Hopefully I’ll have my first bee nucleus by the end of May. I won’t be using a Langstroff Hive like the adorable garden hive featured my my afternoon visiting and learning. I’m probably going to use a Warré box which is bee-centered rather than beekeeper-centered.
Industrialized honey is a disaster for many reasons and the laboratory artificial insemination process of the queen bee almost gave me nightmares. Pesticides are killing bees & butterflies, our pollinators, and they’re poisoning our farm workers and their children. The water wells in agricultural lands are being declared officially unsafe for consumption where crops are grown. We’ve turned the idea of organic agriculture from a human, earth, and animal rights mandate for industry into a signifier for wealth. The fight for organic agriculture standards IS a battle for human rights. I think shaming an individual for not being able to afford organic food is wrong, demanding that organic standards be used in industrial farming for farm worker safety is imperative.
Excited to have honey and beeswax to share with my community time bank in a year’s time if I manage to keep my hive going.
Cool facts: swarming bees may look the scariest but are least likely to sting. Every sting is a fatality for a bee and a swarm cannot afford to decrease the population nor do they have a hive or babies to protect. Learning to catch a swarm is a great way to start a new hive.
Before a swarm, a queen starts a swarm cell inside the hive for the DNA of each drone she successfully mated with and those queens will duke it out for the role of the next matriarch. It’s common to see 10+ cells from her royal gangbang when she took the throne. Swarm time is determined when a queen has filled a hive to capacity with many daughters and a full honey supply. She’ll leave half of her hive behind to continue under a new matriarch and leaves with her flight to forge a new successful hive. It’s a brilliant way to keep disseminating strong genetics for each habitat.
Also: reading essays from dudebros throughout history INSISTING that there must be a king bee running the hive and not a pathetic female makes for the best hilarious feminist theory ever.