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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Carrollton va
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    46

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    I have not stuck with every hobbie I have tried. If they never tried then how would they know they did not like it. I would not beat myself up over it.

    I thought the quote was:
    Make a man a fire and he will be warm for an evening. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Graham, a most excellent suggestion! I may do something just like that!

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    I just inspected two hives I placed at a friends place. He bought the bees and I was to give him advice. Basically, he has just ignored them all summer. In July there was a dearth and they needed to be fed. I even went to the point of bringing my own sugar and making syrup at his place, then putting it on the hives and telling him to keep doing that. He's an hour away, so it just wasn't feasible for me to do it for him.

    Went yesterday and one's near dead already. The other likely won't get through the winter. They just never had enough food to build numbers before the chill.

    He likes the idea of bees, but the bottom line is that he just doesn't have the desire to do what needs to be done.

    Not everyone has what it takes - true interest.

    Adam

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Before you bring home that hive, establish an "ugly" compost bin in the general area where you expect to put the hive.
    I had to chuckle when I read this. My beehive is right near three compost bins. Plus the shed and the woodpile.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    After reading this thread everyone is right. Not everyone is made to enjoy bees like others. Kind of like sports, I like to play some but I am no natural. I have many other abilities that others don't and I like to have bees. Yes this is my first full year of having bees, even though I got a package in 2010 and was taken after a lot of study and lots of excitement. I order some bees from a bad apiary from Tennessee but didn't know till it was to late. I lost those bees when I did finally get them and was kind of upset. But after one more year of study, I bought two nucs this year. Now I have five going into the winter and bought all the tools to make my own equipment. But not all people are made the same. I would not worry about it if someone doesn't fall for their bees, well its their lose not yours. On that note next year I am going to venture into queen rearing in my own yard to make as many hives that I can. Five to thirty five that is my goal for next year. Enjoy your bees and don't worry about someone else. You helped a lot even by calling them which is more than I would do as soon as they started loosing equipment.
    Let bees be bees.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    What i meant: People are buying bees with less regard than they buy goldfish, kittens and puppies.
    I agree. I think that many people think "Bees = honey! Yippee!" and get into it thinking that they can just stick the hive in their backyard and every fall the honey will magically appear in little glass jars in front of the hive (when I see Williams-Sonoma selling beehives, I have to wonder). They don't realize that in spite of their size, bees require specialized knowledge, care, and attention like any other animal.

    [Note to self: breed a strain of bees that will perform extraction and bottling....]
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    I think it is part of the modern "instant gratification" concept that young people demand and adults as well. They dont want to make any investment of their time in order to get to the reward part of the process. Personally I have seen many get interested in building and flying Radio controlled planes but very few stick it out through the discouragement. I think about 10% of kits ever get completed. similarly not everyone is cut out for beekeeping and they may as well get away from it instead of beating themselves up over it and making everyone involved miserable. It is sad but so! Maybe in 40 years that youngster will be ready for beekeeping!

    It is a pleasure to teach keeners, but trying to energize someone who has lost interest goes sour quickly.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    We were in 3 points Arizona where three states meet in the middle of the desert. There were lots of dogs in packs. They have issues with campers deserting there dogs out there. There was a problem in NY with people flushing alligators down the toilets. After easter the pounds have issues with rabbits. It is too bad that people are getting bee's like chickens.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    At least the bees are likely to swarm off or abscond if things are not right for them!

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Mentor: 1. A wise and trusted counselor or teacher; 2. An influential senior sponsor or supporter.

    Sounds like you did both 1 & 2 to me. Mentor obligation fulfilled. Remember, you can't hold a gun to someone's head and make them "get it" or "work dem bees". Go into "support" mode and be prepared to buy them out. Maybe you will find a person that is truly interested in keeping bees that is short on financial resources and long on enthusiasm and that hive will make a great fit. Nothing is for everyone and many times the idea is great and once reality sets in, it's the execution that's lacking. I wouldn't beat myself up over it.

    Just my .02

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,021

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    So AltamonteBee, how's this working out?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Altamont, NY USA
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Thanks everyone!! Well, I e-mailed them a follow-up - reminder about what to do and to call me with any questions. I also tried to gently remind them that they really should be checking the bees when I'm not there. Haven't heard anything back. I'm going to invite them to come down when we wrap our hives so they can see how it's done. I think you are all right - I've been putting way more time into this than they have - I'm going to finish out the season as best I can and then tell them they are welcome to call me with any questions, and leave it at that.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    It seems to me that you have already told them that you're open for helping them whenever. If it were me I'd leave it at that. YOu said in your e-mail "to call me with any questions" so you made it clear that your "open to help" and have made it clear that you're eager to see them succeed. My $.10 (Considering inflation on $.02, .05 isn't enough!!!) is I'd leave it alone at this point. I have a guy that I've been helping out also this year and I've talked with him much, but I have only looked at his hives 2x this summer. I coached him on a small queen rearing batch, and how to catch a swarm. Both of which are still going well now. He's a first year beekeeper. You'll have some that want it and others that just don't.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Schenectady County, NY
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    [QUOTE=AltamontBee;861542]Haven't heard anything back. I'm going to invite them to come down when we wrap our hives so they can see how it's done. [QUOTE] They won't come !... but I would I could also show you a box that we built for our bees to wrap/cover our hives last year - protects them from the winds and allows ventilation.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,021

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Good decision AltamonteBee. I suspect that part of why this has been so difficult for you is you have formed a sort of friendship with the people, some kind of emotional connection, and abondoning them does not come at all easily.

    However if you let this go on it just gets more difficult, your position has been completely untenable. Letting them know they can call you if needed is the kindest outcome I'm glad you've got to that point.

    Also, an 11 year old boy does not have to fail at bees because of his age, it's more about attitude, and probably family disfunction. A mentor is not even nessecary for somebody if they are keen.

    For me I first got interested in bees at age around 10 when a swarm showed up at my school and then moved into a tree, I watched it with fascination for several years. I was given a book on bees and built my first hive in the school woodwork shop using directions from the book, with out even knowing another beekeeper. Finally I talked my parents into buying me a nucleus hive for my 13th birthday. Other than buying the hive my parents took little interest in it and I still didn't know another beekeeper but using knowledge from the book made a pretty good job of running the hive and even purchased a new queen and requeened it. I worked too hard building my equipment from scrap timber I scavenged to lose it, I cannot even fathom how your mentoree could lose items such as a queen excluder, smoker, etc.

    The reason I'm telling this story is just to encourage you that you've just had bad luck in the person you were asked to mentor. It's about attitude and they don't have what it takes, and being propped up by you will just extend the misery. Hope you will not feel put off from using your talents to help somebody wanting to benefit from your knowledge.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 10-25-2012 at 01:09 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Tigard, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    [Note to self: breed a strain of bees that will perform extraction and bottling....][/QUOTE]

    How's that working out for you? Inquiring minds want to know.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Chester Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Just re-read this thread again today. I was not throwing all 11 year old boys under the bus. They are fabulous, inquisitive and a lot of fun, thats why I worked with them. BUT they dont always know what they are gtting into and fancys often pass. Parents shoul always be ready to take over or have a good plan B if the idea/hobby/pet/sport does not work out. That is part of parenting, helping them explore and learn responsibility.
    Meridith
    I am frequently confused!

  18. #58
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    Rule to live by: If you are helping (or trying to help someone) then need to be more interested in it than you. And, as a male I don't think it's confined to 11 year olds

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portage County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    I had a reverse mentoring situation. The friend who has turned into my mentor innocently asked if he could move one hive from his city back yard to the edge of my farm field because he had too many in his yard. I said "sure, as long as you'll be doing the work - although I'd like to have a look at them now and then with you." He showed up that very evening with not 1 but 3 hives ... which I gave back to him this spring because now I have 4 new ones of my own... He tricked me, but had correctly identified me as a potential beekeeper. Its not always obvious who will carry on the beekeeping torch - and so I applaud all of you who make the effort to get people involved, or who help those who seek you out. You are good people.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor

    I wouldn't blame the child for losing interest because children do, and beekeeping isn't something that you get to "do" or at least "practice" every day unless you already live in a beekeeping family with lots of hives - indeed, when a new hive is installed you have to specifically not touch it for an extended period of time so the bees can get settled, and this can bore a kid. Although I know some young children do take to beekeeping, I tend to think they're exceptional in that regard.

    But going solely by your description, I am befuddled by the attitude of the parents. They spend significant money purchasing equipment and bees, and then are rather cavalier about essential tools and components getting lost. It reminds me a bit of my own parents; they'd take me to a meeting or game and pick me up when I was done, pay for photos or equipment; but as for what happened in between they really couldn't have cared less. It was really the other people in my clubs/teams/etc that kept my interest alive. In a mostly solitary activity like beekeeping...I try to imagine myself trying it at 11 with the parents I had, and I imagine it turning out very much like this.

    Of course, I don't know these people and could have exactly the wrong idea of how they are based on limited information, but there it is.

    As for being a mentor - unless you can move in with him, I don't think you're going to be able to reach that child right now, as far as interest in beekeeping goes. However, I would leave him all the equipment. Yes, the hive will almost certainly dead-out; but leave it. If his parents don't throw it out, he might happen to see it sitting there one day in a couple of years when parental support isn't as crucial to maintaining his interest, and then he may come back on his own initiative. When (if) he does, pick up from there.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

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