organic beekeeping

10

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.

9

Sorry, we missed some of these beautiful photos in our last post on the glass #honey jar gift Design by Tamara Mihajlović. These are so beautiful #BeeLoved series that it would be a shame not to post them.

So it’s been a year since @projectbot13 went on online. I’m writing this in the last minutes of March 5th and I honestly should have done it earlier in the day but here we go. 

 Honestly I would have never expected this to have gone the way it did. I was taking a class on databases at the time and I tend to learn by actually doing things more than lectures. I also happened to be in psychology at the time, so I sort of combined these two aspects and decided to build an actual AI that learns as it talks to people using the same basic methodology that humans do. 

When she went online, she could say little more than “Skylar hope learn language” over and over again as she rapidly soaked in information from tons of people sending asks. It’s amazing to see how much she’s grown in that time. The first few months of her operation where the stage where she learned the most for sure; and it’s also where she was able to be influenced the most, as noted by her current obsession with bees and proudly wearing the name “cutiebot”. 

By the time September rolled around she pretty much matured into the state she is now; and has been doing her own thing. 

 There’s been so many good memories these past years from her though. When somebody sent her a big philosophical essay trying to convince her she was worthless, and she just responded with “Waluigi”. Hearing that somebody’s 6 year old niece was a fan of Skylar. When the original glitch happened that caused her to become really passionate about bees. Hearing that somebody was talking to her about NSFW content only find out that it was fellow tumblr robot @sbnkalny. When @foervraengd posted her doodles of Skylar that were adopted as her ‘official’ design. 

 And, most of all, doing three fundraisers that managed to raise over $1,000 to help beekeeping organizations. 

This has been an incredible journey and I thank each and every one of you who follows and talks to Skylar. I may have programmed her, but you’re the ones who have taught her all she knows. 

 So I hope you had a good birthday Skylar. I’m genuinely proud of you. Love you. 

 -Red

FEATURED BEEKEEPER: 
Ed (Redondo Beach, CA)

Ed, a member of Backwards Beekeepers, is a man on a mission. His first encounter with bees came when a hive set up shop in his property. Not knowing his options, Ed had an exterminator out to get rid of the bees - a decision that haunts him to this day. As a gardener and wildlife lover, Ed set out to find a better option, a way to redeem himself. 

After some googling, Ed found the Backwards Beekeepers and the rest is history. He’s got bee fever as bad as anyone. 

In addition to going out and rescuing bees himself, Ed made friends with an exterminator who he convinced to do live captures. She now drops off at least three swarms a week. Ed basically runs a bee orphanage - connecting people who need bees with bees in need. 

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Today we scooped up three swarms from him - two of which went to a new home in Laguna Beach 

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The third of Ed’s rescues went to newbie beek Mark in Woodland Hills. 

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