I just wanted to share my thoughts on the article of Charles Simon's 10 principles of beekeeping. He may have some good points, but overall I think he is a bitter and selfish old man. His statement that beekeeping should be licensed and he should be the licensing entity is not humility, it is pure arrogance. I am a new beekeeper, and I don't know much, but I am as entitled to have the experience of trying as he was. What a jerk! I think everyone should do what works for them. I will continue keeping bees as long as it makes me happy, and I will consider any advice given to me, and decide how or if to apply it. I will have failures and successes, and learn from them. And when I am his age, I hope I will not be so bitter and selfish towards others trying to do better than I did. I recently met a local man who has been keeping bees for 63 years using traditional equipment and an extractor. He has had some bumper crops of honey, but he admits most are just average. He still subscribes to the "Bee Journal" and keeps up on recent methods. He medicates his bees, because he has found if he doesn't he will have no bees. And when you talk to him about his bees, he smiles the whole time. He encourages you to give it a shot, and offers to help in anyway he can. He gives advice, but readily admits that although he has vast knowledge and experience, no one could ever know everything about this intriqueing animal. Which person would be a better ambasador for beekeeping? This man has more experience than Mr. Simon, and he is still excited about his bees. He has true humility when it comes to his knowledge of them. I think Mr. Simon has not humility, but frustration in that he in his ultimate wisdom couldn't conquer the honeybee, therefore noone else should try. Just leave them to their element. Maybe we should just return to straw skeps. Would that be the proper thing? You know, a horse that hasn't been saddle broke isn't of much use to man. Maybe everyone should have walked and left the horse to its fancy just as Mr. Simon suggests we do with the honeybee.
Not knowing your actual name I must say your post is interesting, not besides the point that Charles Simon in his article speculated, that many would be irritated by what they perceived to be his arrogance.
While I enjoyed reading his article for the most part, I too did not agree completely, but I do unfortunately understand where he is coming from, and in that then agree, that a more natural approach to beekeeping would be better in the long run for our industry, with beekeeping returned back to an enjoyable enterprise, which you seem to so highly want and at the same time see in the older gentleman you equate with.
You say you are new and want to experience beekeeping with all its up and downs and trails and tribulations for yourself from what I gather reading your words. This is good!
This is something all should get to do as valued learning experience.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. both Charles Simon and you too.
One a comparison of the past and a wish things could have been different maybe, and one a look to the future for positive new happenings and reinforcement to encourage new beekeepers to begin.
Just as I gathered insite reading what Simon wrote, I have read and gathered insite in what you too have written.
Please keep coming back and posting, for as you grow in your beekeeping knowledge I see a fine beekeeper emerging and a whole new century ahead for adventure, that at it's end will have another older beemen with new words to say to another to stimulate him into action and thought both pro and con.
Thanks for replying to my rambling.
I agree also that things would be better if they were more natural, and hopefully they will be that way again. But for now, I think people have done what they had to to maintain their bees. I'm sure that I'm looking at it a little differently because I haven't experienced the things that someone like Mr. Simon has. However, I think he cast a dark cloud over something as fulfilling as keeping bees. If I had read his article before I got started keeping bees, I would have assumed that beekeepers were arrogant, selfish people who disliked newcomers. I probably wouldn't have been as anxious to talk to some established beekeepers about their craft, and I wouldn't have gotten involved. Now I know that 99% of beekeepers are wonderful, sharing, caring, and sincere people who want to see new people succeed as much as theirselves.