Beemused: A Blog

Bee Classes

18th February 2007

Bee Classes

Another thing I need to do soon is read my assigned chapters in my beekeeping book. It arrived yesterday, and I haven’t even looked at it. Sigh.

However, the info sent along with it says that the spouses of class attendees can also attend for free- so maybe J and I can both do it, at least some of the time. That would be cool!


5th February 2007

Bees, in context

Something I should establish up front: I am a very bad pagan indeed. Or maybe a very urban one, despite my suburban location.

While I am all about the nature in theory, I do not much like plants. I do not find them interesting. I don’t DISlike them; I like many of the things they provide as a benefit of our coexistence, and I wish them well… but there is very little I find as unenticing as gardening. It’s like housework, but outside, in the heat, with bugs. These are not, to my mind, virtues.

Now, pagans are supposed to like plants. We’re supposed to be all keen to encourage the green growing things that are the breath of Gaia, and again, I am… in theory. I just don’t want to be DOING it.

Combine that with my chosen profession- one that’s about as unjustifiable ecologically as is possible for a profession to be- and I am aware that I basically suck, in the sense of my chosen religion.

Which brings me to bees. And chickens.

See, while plants bore me, critters interest me. I like them, and I am generally reasonably good at getting in tune with them. I am intrigued by their different perspectives on life; living with cats has taught me a lot, and I’m learning even more from living with Sasha- what would it be like to have the history of a place as a rich tapestry to one’s nose? And when we walk, she’s always interested when she sees people… but is convinced that every walking or jogging human OUGHT to have a dog with them. It’s unnatural else. She’s as dog-centric as we are human-centric, and it really puts that in perspective.

So the prospect that I can do something positive for our species and for the earth in general, that does NOT involve boring work with plants, excites me. There are ways that raising even food animals can be done that benefit, rather than diminish, the quality of the soil- or so it seems. And while honeybees are exotics, so are most of our food crops, and our very lives depend on those crops, and therefore on bees. I like the idea that I can do something to step into the breach with this. Not a lot- but something, and something that’s at least potentially intriguing rather than pulling weeds! Plus, you know, the honey would be welcome, too- I’d love to do a batch of Northboro mead or mead-ale… but if keeping the hive healthy means that the honey ought not to be eaten, I’m OK with that.

I want to see how far I can move into thinking like a bee, and seeing the world from their perspective. Not far, I’m sure- but it’s still a stretch from the human, and one that fascinates me.

At least in theory! And theory is all well and good… but theory is what makes my buy seeds, and sometimes even plant them, and then, in the heat of July, lose interest in cherishing them.

So that’s why I’m taking the class. I want to know what I’m getting into. I will probably try it anyway- but I want to be prepared.

(I will also mention that such is one of the ways I push myself. The idea of driving 2.5 hours each way to attend a 3-hour class is rather off-putting- but now I’m stuck. Ditto the idea of actually handling bugs, since I am not at all entirely over my bug phobia. So it’s a stretch! Since we don’t’ have to actually handle bees till May, though, I need not worry about that part now!)


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4th February 2007

Bees! It begins

I am now signed up for a class in beekeeping. dreamingcrow had a link to an article on bees, and that referenced a MA beekeeper who offers lessons… and so I have signed up.

Hard to believe that I have had a longtime bug phobia!

Bees are vital to pretty much all aspects of food growing, and due to a combination of bee parasites and the removal of various economic supports for beekeepers in this country, we are now seeing a bee population of roughly half of what it used to be… and diminishing. It seems to me really vital that people step into the breach, even in a small-scale way.

My other motivation is a fascination with bees as an almost alien lifeform- they are SO different from mammals! I am intrigued.

So I am not yet committed to actually running hives or anything- but beekeeping has been of interest to me for a number of years now, and the course will do much to help me decide whether- or how much- I want to pursue it.


posted in Our Hives | 0 Comments