The perils of giving advice - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,122

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    As others have stated, please don't stop giving advice. Your postings are usually quite informative. The problem with giving advice is not knowing the skill level of the person receiving the information. Giving advice is teaching. I taught various forms of martial arts for many years and the most important thing I learned was that you have to know the skill level of the person receiving the lesson. The advice/lesson I would give an advanced student would get a beginner killed in seconds. The beginner doesn't have the skills (strength, knowledge, flexibility, muscle memory...) to do what and advances student is capable of doing. Beekeeping is the same way. If you explain what is needed to two different beekeepers, the advanced beekeeper hears and understands what you are saying. The beginners hears the words but only understands bits and pieces of what was said. And that is how they learn the best lessons. By making mistakes that give them real understanding. Take it from a guy who learned martial arts by getting broken bones, dislocated joints, shattered teeth, and hundreds of other injuries. To really learn beekeeping, you will get stung hundreds of times, have thousands of bees die because of your mistakes, and spend way more money than was actually necessary. If you want to be great, you will have to learn it the hard way.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    5,193

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Vance, I do hope you are kidding. Your advice and opinions are well regarded. Two old adages come to mind,

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

    And,

    You can't fix stupid, not even with duct tape.

    All the best, hope YOUR queens make it. Your young friend needs to learn the hard way.
    my sentiments exactly, I will lead a horse to water, multiple times, but I refuse to suck on his but to make him drink
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,414

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    That mental image is going to haunt me. For a long time.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I refuse to suck on his but to make him drink[IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.beesource.com/forums/images/smilies/nonono.gif[/IMG]
    I love this so much.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,532

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    The beginners hears the words but only understands bits and pieces of what was said. And that is how they learn the best lessons. By making mistakes that give them real understanding.
    I think that nails it. Good post dudelt. If experienced beekeepers stop giving advice there would be no point of reference for a beginner to return to and learn from, after a mistake was made. It's going to happen, just a part of the learning process.

    Last year I assisted a new beekeeper in getting set up with a couple of hives. We talked for hours about basic beekeeping practices, pest control, and management styles. I visited a couple of times during the season and inspected the hives with her, thinking that all of the information I was offering was sinking in. Long story short, both hives perished last winter winter due to several rookie mistakes. The worst factors being that her Varroa treatment timing was too late and stores were low going into winter.

    This year she decided to wait a year before starting again and just shadow me and learn from watching what I do. She joined me last month just before dandelion bloom when I was doing complete colony inspections, reversals and frames manipulation to open up the brood nest. I was surprised at how much of the basics she was seeing in action and participating in, which for her, was like brand new information. Things we had already discussed many times in the past which I assumed had been retained. It opened my eyes to the learning process.

    Most new beekeepers can only retain and successfully use information they are able to relate to. With little or no experience, much of the verbal or written advice that is given goes right over their heads. Until they have some time in the bee yard under their belts, with successes and mistakes, patience and repetition is required.

    Vance, I will bet that in a few years this friend of yours will be giving advice to other beekeepers that will be helping them through their struggles. In part it will be because of your advice, and the school of hard knocks.
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Izard County, AR, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Wasn't it in that book, "Zen and the Art of Archery," where the guy said you don't ever give good advice too soon....you let them fumble around until they are about to give up, then they are more receptive.
    8 years, 30 colonies, no chemical treatments

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Amissville, VA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    But the next morning I was shown this 'queen bank'. The ten queens were lined up in a row against the outside wall of a feeder rim screen up without a bee feeding or protecting them in sight.

    You know the first thing that struck me was, if your friend is new to beekeeping, why on earth would he order 10 queens? I'm only in my third year and I'm adding hives slowly and only when I can split a strong hive and raise my own queens. This guy seems a little ahead of himself. I could be wrong of course. It's been known to happen!]

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,382

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    MarcB,

    I agree completely. If a new beekeeper can learn to keep a few colonies alive through the Winter and come into Spring strong enough to make a good split from each one and then turn them into thriving colonies, that person is well on the way to success.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Strasburg,VA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    I've been running the Mentor program at our local bee club for the past few years. Someone asked me how much experience you needed to become a mentor. I replied that we measured you by how many bees you've killed, and when you reach a certain number, you're in.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Mercer county pa. Usa
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    I used to race motocross with some success and this lead to some of my friends and co-workers to want to ride themselves. I always gave the same advice before they spent the first dime on the sport. You will CRASH and you will get HURT. Most people totally ignored my advice and most had the money to buy the very best equipment and every extra bell and whistle you could think of. Usually with-in a year everyone had crashed and quit or crashed and got hurt and quit. This enabled me to purchase some really nice stuff at bargain basement pricing without any guilt what so ever. Fortunately nobody was hurt too bad including myself. I have now been in beekeeping long enough to give one guaranteed piece of advice. If you are keeping bees for the FREE honey, please go buy the most expensive honey you can find as it will still be much cheaper then keeping bees for the free honey.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Greenwood, WI, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    While only in my second season of beekeeping at 59 years old I have had a lot of hobbies. I learned a long time ago that you need to watch , listen and learn from the best people you have available in what ever venture you are getting into. People that think they know everything and refuse to learn from there betters never last very long.
    Zone 4a

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,660

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    Just like becoming a good beekeeper, being a good mentor is a skill that takes time, practice, and mistakes to acquire.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  14. #33
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    1,093

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    All of you "advise givers" keep it up. I may not often ask for advise (I like to make my own mistakes), but I like reading the advise that you give to others hoping that it may sink in around the edges.

    I had no intention or desire to become a bee keeper until my kids ordered me three nucs the year that I retired to keep me from getting lazy. I had to run out and buy the equipment that I thought I'd need, and prepare as best I could (here's where BeeSource was discovered).

    Trying to follow everyone's advise cost me dearly that first year or two, but here I am now with 25 colonies and still making mistakes......but they're MINE.

    Any advise that I give is rare and hopefully vague enough to prompt them to use their own mind to figure it out and/or go their own way.....free to make their own mistakes.

    Thanks for all the 'advise' (ideas) you've given to all or us.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,786

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    He ordered ten queens to split hives that are going to swarm and cold wet weather happened. When you only have weekend daylight as he does, that can happen easily. People have to make a living and pay medical bills. He has gone from a newby talked into the glory of a topbar, totally unworkable this far north, to about a hundred lang colonies into his dream. He gets a lot of help from me because he listens. I used the queen bank incident as an illustration of what a person helping says and what the object person HEARS. At times it seems insurmountable.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    A newbee just graduated b-school and bought 2 new langs and 2 packages of bees. Turns out one of the packages had an infertile queen (?) and the situation turned to a laying worker colony. Frantic, the poor newbee called a club mentor who said the colony wasn't salvageable and was advised he dismantle the hive. So they shook out all the bees and guess where they went - to the healthy hive. They killed the queen. I should think trying to separate the queenright bees from the laying-worker bees is like trying to remove the cream you poured in your coffee. They called in a different mentor and he's trying to get things back on track. If this doesn't work, the newbee has shelled out about $800+ dollars (hives & bees) and has to wait til next year to keep bees. Ouch!

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,414

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    That is a good example of a mentor not knowing his or her limitations. As a mentor myself, I try to avoid giving any advice or perfoming any action that I have not done myself with positive results. Our club encourages it's mentors to be hands on so, as an example, I will be helping a newbee perform his first walk away split by actually doing it and explaining what I am doing and what I am looking for instead of telling him in a text or phone call. The expectation is the he will be able to do the next one himself and can call me if a question arises. It is the real experienced folks like Vance that I feel I can turn to when I don't have a clue.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Craig County, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: The perils of giving advice

    In my line of work I am exceptional (tooting my own horn AND not). I blame it on 1 working with many other people to learn from 2 it came natural to me. I would have quit and went back to basic labor more or less. I learned after a 2-15 years someone who has done it much longer than me can be an idiot. Also I still listen to new helpers who have spent months out of high school.

    When it comes to beekeeping I'm not experienced at all. Although I did research for years before starting. And with the first mentor I found I do disagree with 1 thing. I may be wrong and he may be right. Ahh I'm still going to do what I'm going to do.

    I appreciate his help and all other help I get on here. Even if it's you telling about a mistake. It may help me later. And he may learn later on all the other things that you have taught.

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