I have read of beekeepers in the back areas of South America putting a pair of their dirty underwear in the hive so the bees will become used to the smell and not be so agressive when the owner of that underewear opens up the hive.
I'm not sure if I don't like the unsanitarieness of this idea or if I have never had underwear dirty enough to qualify for this contribution.
While that might not be the defination of "being one with your bees", but I guess you could say they give what they can!
I enjoy threads like this and found parts of his book highly entertaining. To me, bees are just pretty neat, complex bugs, more like complex programmed robots than cognizant beings.. Disturb them for any reason and they'd rather sting the crap out of you than communicate with you. Or that is their communication with you, the end of their side of the conservation.
On another note, my dad always went out to just watch them many times. He told me he did it to get them used to his smell so they wouldn't be so defensive when he worked the hives.
I am wondering if people realize that during summer your bees will only live for 6 to 8 weeks so the bees you spend 30 mins with this week most likely will be different ones the next time you open your hive. I suspect the bees see any intrusion into the hive as just that, an intrusion. Pulling their hive apart to spend time with them just disrupts the hive. After reading the article I continue to wonder why some people continue to give human behavioral traits to things other than human. Bees are a fantastic instect and THEIR behavior is one we can learn from but to expect them to develop feelings and a relationship with an intrusive organism (the beekeeper) is really going over the top...I too am just shaking my head.
Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne
As for Mr, Conrad, I have read his book and other writings and I met him at the Common Ground Fair in Maine. He is most definitely not a "nut case" as he was desparagingly referred to.
I did not read his article in Bee Culture so can not comment on his intent. I would guess that his ideas go deeper than the superficial impressions a few out of context quotes might suggest.
I haven't met him so I can only go by what he's written. I'm certain he's a good guy and his heart may be in the right place. From his book and especially this article, the management technique he advocates seems way too Lola Granola for me though.
Bottom line, they are insects. Not mater how much some try to anthropomorphize, studies and my own experiences have shown they do not recognize us. I will go great lengths to make sure they are healthy and safe but I find it absolutely foolish to "establish a relationship" with them.
Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...
if one admittedly didn't read the article, how can one be sure that the quotes are being taken out of context? Lots of assuming there.
No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.
I'll often take my bees out to dinner and a movie. It's not really a date though, we're just friends.
I certainly don't begrudge Ross for being spiritual, but the sense that he's instructing people on how to act on that feeling is a bit odd in a Bee Journal.
I find that whenever people get really fascinated by something, there is a tendency to become spiritual about it.
And I think that's wonderful.
But I don't think it should mean making them into ourselves in our minds; turning them into creatures that love, and admire and make friends like we do. To me, that's actually missing the point.
Bees are a miracle, and infinite wonder already exists in what they ARE.
There's no need to make them into anything else. There's no need to apply any human attributes to their behavior. The fact that they are not like us at all is exactly why they are so mystifying...
...and begin to make us starry-eyed with wonder like children.
What I don't get in this thread is why people feel Ross's article shouldn't even be published in the magazine, and that he's a 'nutcase' etc etc. Agree with him or not, he's an experienced beekeeper and the magazine apparently is trying to present varied points of view. Um, is the world going to screech to a halt because some beekeeper is 'making a date' to sit with and watch his bees for 30 minutes or leaving some quirky little thank you token on the landing board?
I'm sure there is at least one article in every focused trade magazine that many people would strongly disagree with. So what? People agree or don't agree on various points of view in beekeeping all the time- nobody forces people to follow what is presented. Nothing genuinely dangerous or hurtful is being suggested.
If you don't like one article or feel it's a waste of time, why not just go on to the next article? Surely you can't expect to agree with every author's article? (and yes I'm calling you Shirley)
I haven't read the article nor have I read Ross's book. I've read a few beekeeping books and I find things in all of them I both agree and disagree with. But I learn from what I read on all sides. It's only by reading and listening to various people's approaches to beekeeping that I am able to pick out my own path in what I hope is a balanced and sensible way.
Nothing wrong in reading an article and then thinking it's a bunch of bologna and moving on. But I do think it's wrong to say that article shouldn't be allowed to be published at all, or that the author is a 'nutcase'. I suspect everyone who keeps bees is just a bit out of the ordinary anyway.
The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson
Try reading the article before assuming the quotes are taken out of context. If you do you'll find the quotes follow the jist of the article very closely. I have difficulty taking someone seriously who hasn't read the article but already discounts others thoughts of it.
Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...
Folks in tune with nature!!! LOL!!! Wonder if he would feel the say way about some AHB's? Knew some folks that were real in tune with Grizzly bears....untill it ate them! My Bees are a business. Sure, their incredibly fascinating creatures, but we dont talk. I keep them in boxs, they make excess honey for further economic satisfaction for me. If they dont perform, i re-queen them! If they dont survive, i try to determine why, and replace them...Heartless, but necessary!
"After reading the article I continue to wonder why some people continue to give human behavioral traits to things other than human. Bees are a fantastic instect and THEIR behavior is one we can learn from but to expect them to develop feelings and a relationship with an intrusive organism (the beekeeper) is really going over the top...I too am just shaking my head."
I don't interpret any article written about bees/beekeeping in the style of the one being critisized, that the author is expecting a,.. "relationship",.to develope feelings,..a recipricol humanistic relationship with the bees. Where do you get that idea? I don't think that is the intent of any author that writes and explores the world of beekeeping such as Ross Conrad has done in this article.
I have been utterly bored with more than a few articles in both journals but this is the kind that typically gets pointed out as a waste of time and print space; why I don't know. I could point out some articles that seem to me a bit,.."preachy and upitty",... Example: "The New Paradigm for American Beekeeping" by K. Webster for example! March 2008, ABJ. Hey,. we can all join in and critique the articles in the Bee jounals can't we?
Maybe these kinds of articles appeal to different kinds of beekeepers and seem of poor quality to some, but what's the point of critising them or pointing them out as,.."off the wall".
As long as we are "critiqueing" articles in bee journals, I would like to say that the 3 part articles, early this year in the ABJ by Peter Loring Borst was VERY nice and enjoyable reading. It was written in somewhat the same "naturalistic style" as the one by Ross Conrad but not in quite the,..anthropomorphic style that is being critized here.
I admire people that can write for magazines or journals like this. If they are on a deadline you should try your hand,..or pen at it and see what you can do,...good luck .
I will be awaiting your insightful and "profound" article in ABJ or BC about beekeeping,..M. Palmer.
Last edited by Oldbee; 12-15-2010 at 08:29 AM.
Last edited by waynesgarden; 12-15-2010 at 08:17 AM.
Ooops! I'll have to go back and,..check them out.
Be prepared for some adverse, maybe some harsh criticism.
Whaa happened M. Palmer,.did the article you submitted for the Dec. issue get rejected?
MP... ... Priceless.
The editor is full of it... sure we all can be amazed by the social order of a colony... but he just needs a date WITH A HUMAN!!! Bees are a huge part of my life... But my wife and children are more important... the time that he spends blowing kisses at nurse bees, he could be spending with his family...
I spend hours upon hours at a time observing... but because I have to in order to be precise in my research... not because the bees and I are forming some sort of bond... What a dope... BC should really consider drug screening...
BEFORE YOU SEND YOUR HATE MAIL!!!
I have not read the article... wouldn't care to... just a simple opinion based on what I have read here, and in no way am I truely knocking the editor... just some of the things that he has said... I hear this sort of "mumbo jumbo" all the time... I will say that bees that are worked daily, will become more acclimated to your presence... But come on... Gifts to win their hearts?? Does anyone actually think that they are looking up at you from the frames saying "yay! the martian god has returned!"... think again...
Last edited by rrussell6870; 12-14-2010 at 09:12 PM. Reason: NO HATEMAIL PLEASE
Ahh...but then you knew that. Think smiley with tongue sticking out 'cause I haven't a clue how to paste it here...