For the Beekeeping Newbees!

Reader Contribution by Betty Taylor
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Entropy, “4. a hypothetical tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity. 5. Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.”

Inert, “1. Unable to move or act. 2 Sluggish in action or motion; lethargic.”

No, this is not going to be a political discussion, although …

I have great compassion for Newbees, novices who are trying to learn the art and science of beekeeping. It was easier for me. I had a mentor, did as I was told, worked, learned, kept my opinions to myself, and eventually branched out, started my own apiary, and did it “my way.” Today it’s harder to find mentors, and for as many beekeepers who are asked a question, that’s how many different answers a Newbee gets back.

The reason for this blog is to give back, pass on what I’ve learned, but it’s not that easy. I get a lot of push back from established Agri-beekeepers because I don’t feed my hives (once established), don’t use chemicals, and don’t purchase all the latest bee gadgets. This past year, I had a bad year and you know what? This year’s results were exactly equal to the norm of Argi-beesiness in recent years! And that, a normal year for most beekeepers, was a bad year for me–until now I’ve had excellent results. Now as an act of faith, I am sticking to my guns, letting my poorly preforming hives die and rebuilding from the survivors. Stay tuned, survive or fail, I won’t lie to you! If I fall on my face, y’all will be the first to know.

Now for the entropy part. The expanding access to information and the many voices is a blessing and a concern. Quantity doesn’t trump quality. It can just lead to confusion and inaction. If you love bees, just commit! Go for it. Make your own mistakes and learn from them. Give yourself a few years of apprenticeship and don’t expect instant results. Every failure is one step closer to success. Don’t be afraid to fail!

That said, don’t keep bees because you think you’re going to make money. If you want to make money, get a job doing just about anything else. Keep bees because you love them. If you love them enough, you may make money from them in a dozen years or so.