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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Rockville, Maryland
    Posts
    52

    Post

    Lately, I've been very depressed. The main source of my depression has been work related. I'm getting some "help", and it certainly making things a little easier.

    However, the best therepy I have is an afternoon with my hives. Since you have to move slowly and deliberately, and you have to focus on what you are doing, it's almost like meditation for me. Tonight (Friday), I'll go out to my hives (I have two) and just sit near the entrance. I watch the bees come and go, and for an hour or two, my depression will abate.

    I've come to love my bees for helping me cope with a difficult situation. I'm also kind of worried about what I'll do this winter without them, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    I'm wondering what others get out of beekeeping. For some it may be the financial rewards, for others it may be something less tangible. Any reason is a good reason, but I'd just like to hear from others.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    CANDIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Posts
    76

    Post

    Sit down this winter and wire 200-300 frames. Go all out with the eyelets and the wire crimping and the works. It will keep you in the beekeeping spirit!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Andover, Massachusetts
    Posts
    143

    Post

    Hi Matt,

    For me it's also therapeutic. I've found that gardening and beekeeping is great for helping me unwind. I love to sit and watch them, I could watch for hours.

    I have found some other activities that help with depression as well. Yoga, sewing, cleaning. Yes, cleaning. go figure. Anything that requires me to concentrate on something fully.

    I'm a musician by trade. Practicing helps me alot. I can focus on one thing for an extended period of time and it helps a great deal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    > it's almost like meditation for me.

    Good description! You do have to shift mental gears to work bees.

    >I'm also kind of worried about what I'll do this winter without them, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    Setup an obsevation hive now and you can spend many winter hours watching the "bee channel".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I love working my bees. It is hard work but is so relaxing. I suppose I get a dose of reality with my bees. I just start to think I no anything and they prove me wrong. It's great.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New Braunfels, TX
    Posts
    463

    Post

    Matt,

    For me, a prospective beekeeper with two empty hives (arrived in the States too late to buy packages), I have enjoyed studying bees. These little creatures are truly fascinating. The library has a fair collection of information and I purchased others. I had no idea that there were so many threats to bees, the effect pesticides have on them, or even how the queen mates. During the winter, if you have not already done that, you could plan to have a top bar hive, even if you never actually do it. Just the planning, and possibly the building, will force you to concentrate on the topic and task.

    Best of luck in your recovery.

    Ron
    Hobbyist

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,068

    Post

    Just standing and watching the bees come and go is extremely relaxing to me. Many times after I get home from work (1hr drive each way part of it in traffic) I will walk straight to the hives even before going inside. My wife doesn't understand but it just gives me 15-20min or so to unwind and just take a break from the fast pace of life. Then I walk inside and my 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old come running and the fast pace is back.... (But I love that part too!)

    Dan
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    I find that after about 1/2 hr, in the beeyards and the rest of the world melts away for a while. Whatever headeache I had when I came to the yard disappears as Islip on my pullover, light my smoker and start to work. i know it has to do with being out in nature, the harmonic hum, the heady scents in the hives and watching a society which has been successful and consistent for millions of years going through their motions. The Count is right, winter is a great time to dream, read, plan, build and ride on the anticipation of the coming season. Make a trip to the yard in the winter, especially on a warm winter day when a cleansing flight is likely. It is a thill to see bees flying in December and January and know they too are waiting in anticipation of the upcoming season.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Post

    After living in southern France for several years where the pace is decidedly slower, coming back to the US was stressful. My bees remind me that we create our stress and can also choose not to allow so much of it into our lives. Simplify and sit with your bees.
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    Everything written above applies to most beekeepers I think. I have just always liked animals, agriculture and living things in general. I would probably even have bees if they made no honey. I just like the way they smell, sound, and carry out their tiny lives. I've spent many a pleasant summer afternoon laying in the beeyard watching them fly hither and yon. By my birthday (Jan) I'm already chomping at the bit to work the bees and hear their hum. I geuss I like mead so much because it reminds of the hives. Not to be morbid, but when I go, I hope that someone has the good sense to "tell" my bees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Logan Ut, USA
    Posts
    60

    Post

    Earlier this spring I was in the process of catching a swarm of bees in my yard that was too high. I got in the bed of my truck to give me some "height" in order to reach them. Yep you guessed it, I fell out of the truck bed and broke my ankle.

    Since then my husband has had to "tend" to my 3 hives. I haven't been able to get up the incline in my back yard to reach them.

    I have found that I have become a bit jealous that he is the one having all the fun while I can only sit and watch.

    I look forward to the harvest this year as I believe by then (about 4 weeks) I will be able to fully participate in the care and keeping of MY girls!

    Vickie
    A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water - Eleanor Roosevelt

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

    Post

    My Saturday trip to my apiary is the high point of my week. I've undoubtedly messed with them more than was good for them, but I just love getting in there. For me, honey is a low priority, and a huge bonus. Beeswax is slightly higher priority and another bonus. But my main priority is spending time with them.

    BTW, my apiary is in an area overrun with feral hogs, which can be quite dangerous. There was one boar that killed several cattle and a horse near us last year. So I always carry a pistole when working my bees.
    It's an odd situation to be packing heat while getting in tune with the peaceful, relaxed nature of working bees.
    "Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. . . . I will try to keep this short as long as I can." Yogi Berra

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Post

    Most of my many years of beekeeping I didn't harvest any honey at all, I simply kept the bees so I could watch them bring in their multi-colored loads of pollen and so I could open up their hives, observe the brood and honeycombs. In the past few years, while here in Tucson, I've taken to harvesting some honey, it is sticky fun, but lots more work than just watching the bees. Fortunately one of my two apiaries is in my backyard, I go out to watch them several times per day.

    Recently my wife has become paralyzed in her legs and is a paraplegic from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We have begun to use BVT (Bee Venom Therapy), we have the bees sting her in strategic places on her body to help remedy her MS, so I built a special holding cage and put fresh bees in it every other day to use in her BVT.

    I never truly appreciated the "desert" climate here in Tucson --- I like the climate in Oak Harbor (Whidbey Island) Washington more. But, I have recently learned to appreciate the fact that the bees are active year-round here in Tucson. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Post

    One of the biggest side benefits from this hobby was that it kept me occupied during the last 2 long winters building boxes (~30) and frames (~300) from scratch, that diverted my attention from my very pregnant, crabby, depressed, and sick wife. 'Course now I don't have much time for the bee because I spend my time watching the 2 little ones....

    -rick

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Post

    Matt:

    For me, it is being part of nature and seeing what nature can make without the "help" of humans. Being a chef, it is awesome to see where things come from.

    For the winter and now since my bees are down south, I really enjoy reading books about bees. They can be fiction or non fiction. If you need some suggestions, feel free to ask.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Beekeeping is definitely theraputic- you gotta relax, you can't be all stressed out, the bees seem to pick up on your mind set and if you're not at peace, the bees don't seem to be either.

    I used to be a computer programmer/system administrator, etc. It was VERY stressful. My life sorta went down the tubes. I'm now working part time for a guy building post and beam houses, I'm learning to run a chisel. When I'm not doing that, I'm working my bees, thinking about my bees, or reading about bees. Keeps me out of trouble.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lakewood Colorado
    Posts
    60

    Post

    Matt,
    I find it very, very therapeutic just like planning, planting, and weeding a garden. Both the bees and the garden make me realize how Mother Nature can and will, generally provide us with all we need.

    The bees give me another thing to do with my 5-year-old daughter. It is wonderful to see her “petting” a bee and at the same time learning about science, agriculture, and entomology.

    I get pollination from the bees. I have seen a dramatic increase in melons, pumpkins and cukes this year.

    I get the most wonderful smell from my hives. Like gods candy factory in my back yard.

    If you will miss them that much in the winter you should consider an observation hive my friend.

    have a great weekend.
    Matt

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,462

    Post

    I'm glad a couple people have mentioned the smell. My wife thinks I'm crazy when I go out to the hives at about 11 O'Clock at night just to enjoy the smell of the air.

    I tell her if everyone had bees, no one would want drugs. All you smokers have no idea what you're missing.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Post

    After reading all the other responses it’s obvious that many beekeepers think alike, makes me wonder why they do so many things different when it comes to managing them?
    To me it helps me in my relationship with God, the more I learn about these wonderful creatures the more I see Gods hand in the world. It’s more than the gentle buzz or the wonderful smells, it’s being part of the process of nature. Honeybees tho ignored by most people are an intrigue cog in the eco system, and that also gives me a sense of greater purpose, which keeps me focused on what’s important and what’s not. I use the winter to read and improve my knowledge, and make or repair equipment for the next season.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    Cheer up Matt!
    I get a ton of work related stress also, but I try and not take it home with me when I leave. You can try and winter some bees in an observation hive indoors, then your can have an escape from your stress watching bees all winter long. Hope things will soon improve for you at the workplace. Take care now.
    Best Wishes,

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