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Rusty Burlew has written an excellent article in the April American Bee Journal titled "Beekeepers and the Dunning-Kruger Effect: Unskilled and Unaware."
The article resonates with me. When I first began my beekeeping journey back in the 1970's, older grey haired beekeepers were looked upon with
respect and newer beekeepers were eager to hear what they had to say.

That's not so much the case today. Too many newbees take a beginning class, successfully navigate a couple of seasons and then suddenly become experts.
They often reject the idea of subscribing to the bee journals or reading books by respected authors, looking down upon those of us who suggest they do so as they roll their eyes.
They see us as dinosaurs. They are Internet beekeepers who have no frame of reference to distinguish the good stuff from the drivel by others who also think they are experts.

I'm sad to say that since beekeeping has gone mainstream, I find myself swimming upstream to get away from what it has created.
 

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Rusty Burlew has written an excellent article in the April American Bee Journal titled "Beekeepers and the Dunning-Kruger Effect: Unskilled and Unaware."
The article resonates with me. When I first began my beekeeping journey back in the 1970's, older grey haired beekeepers were looked upon with
respect and newer beekeepers were eager to hear what they had to say.

That's not so much the case today. Too many newbees take a beginning class, successfully navigate a couple of seasons and then suddenly become experts.
They often reject the idea of subscribing to the bee journals or reading books by respected authors, looking down upon those of us who suggest they do so as they roll their eyes.
They see us as dinosaurs. They are Internet beekeepers who have no frame of reference to distinguish the good stuff from the drivel by others who also think they are experts.

I'm sad to say that since beekeeping has gone mainstream, I find myself swimming upstream to get away from what it has created.
You are not the only one with those thoughts SWM.
And you're not the only one moving away from it either.
It's no fun playing the -I know more than you do- game all the time with those who can't see the forest for the trees and are constantly trying to prove themselves. Same types at the club, the farmers market, here....
Sadly, the new scene has gotten old very quickly.
 

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Please any OG beekeepers! Do not throw in the towel. Many of us newbies are willing to admit that we don’t know much and won’t for many years to come. Your knowledge becomes more valuable every year that more newbs are willing to tell you the “absolute truth”. I read that article. Definitely will make me keep myself in check while I inevitable prosper in this new adventure. 😀
I’m here to listen to what you have to say!!!
 

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Some of use oldtmers can see the positive side. They ussualy flame out in 5 yearsm but have discovered by then just how expensive beekeeping is. In the sixth year they will gladly pay that reasonable price for my jar of honey, a price six years earlier they thought was exorbitant..We aren't loosing new beekeepers, just gaining new customers.

Crazy Roland
 

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I have been hanging out here for a year, and I am in my 5th year of keeping bees. I have a list in my head of experienced beeks posting here who's opinion I respect. I have learned a ton from lurking here.

My point is we need you guys to guide us and there are many of us who appreciate the wisdom even though we might be silent. There are more than you think.
 

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I am a newbie too... awaiting my first nuk and package. The internet has been helpful to me, but I gain more knowledge per unit of time in my beginner beekeeper class (over Zoom). The internet has provided me with THIS forum too, where my access to seasoned experts is much wider than it would otherwise be. Without the internet (including Zoom for the class), I couldn’t begin this with any serious expectations.

YouTube has been helpful for tips on things that require more of a visual—like building watering stations from 5gal buckets and such, or some videos of the bees inside the hive. Since I do not have access to a working hive, and COVID is preventing my class from the usual hands-on experiences, I am grateful for that, though I acknowledge that it’s not as good as a “live” visit.
 

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...I gain more knowledge per unit of time in my beginner beekeeper class...COVID is preventing my class from the usual hands-on experiences, I am grateful for that, though I acknowledge that it’s not as good as a “live” visit.
Except for Covid screwing it up, even after more than a decade since my first class, I still pay for an 'advanced' class every year from a large commercial keeper. There is always something new to learn. He keeps up with the latest knowledge, and has the resources to experiment to find what works and what doesn't under 'real world' conditions.

I can learn from his successes...and failures...without having to do all the failing on my own (and the loss of time and resources that go with it).
 

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I have been keeping bees for about 8 seasons now. I suppose I am not a newbee, but I feel that I am still on the low side of a steep learning curve. That learning curve is what keeps me so interested though.

While I 100% agree with both Rusty and the OP, I see a whole lot of DK effect on the opposite end of the spectrum. I stopped going to a local beekeeper's meeting when the treatment-free president kept talking about how vicious those wax moths were and how they kept killing off his colonies. We have a statewide leader who has kept bees most of his life and makes a living doing it (primarily supplies and packages that he brokers). He cranks his fogger up every year and blows God knows how many quarts of wintergreen essential oil in. Only to complain about how the neighbor's pesticides kill off 40% of his bees.

These guys have a lot to offer. They know a lot about beekeeping. However, they are blinded by what they don't know and refuse to acknowledge or learn. Their years in beekeeping and positions in local and state organizations create a lot of disinformation. We all respect and like them as people and do not have the heart to "call them out."
 

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its not DK as they "should have" learned from there experience, but they haven't..
For some reason, as a group beekeepers don't improve with years of experience unless they are a large commercial outfit..
It likely matters very much were they are receiving there info from (much like "news" ) as you note there is a lot of bad info out there, and if people don't "call them out" that info stays, and gets repeated, and repeated

BIP numbers
backyard (sub 50 hives)
62859


Sideliner (50-500)
62860


Commercial (500+)
62861


Truths that keep surfacing
beekeepers are a sucker for a good story
beekeepers are a sucker for anything in a fogger
beekeepers are a sucker for anything in a blue shop towel
beekeepers are very prone to conformation bias
most new beekeepers are a sucker for "anti" big ag marketing of hive management
 
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However....
I have done things by now my Old Man new knew about or never tried or told me they were non-sense (nucs were one such non-sense in his opinion).

I say stay balanced, seek out the evidence, and don't look for any idols so to worship them.

If to take the advice of the oldies as the law, we'd still be running the log files.
Fortunately, some other oldies (and the newbies too) were crazy enough to try out some crazy ideas.
 

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I think a big difference today is all of the information available on you tube, etc. about whatever aspect of beekeeping one is pursuing.
When I started out, all I had was a Walter Kelly book "How to keep bees", or something like that. The book was actually a good primer on basic beekeeping, and I used the knowledge from it to take my first hive out of a double walled porch. No 'consultants' or clubs were available to me as they often are now.
A lot has gone on since then to make beekeeping both more difficult and easier at the same time. I'm talking invasive mites and better genetics when I say this. Some may argue the better genetics, but we all are entitled to our own opinion,
 

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"Unskilled and Unaware" sums quite a few points in our "Modern" world, frighteningly well.

I can remember sitting and talking with my wife's grandfather who trained horses about all his life.
Even though I ran a 10 head string every fall, I just always felt so ignorant...

Yet, now we have people who believe a sperm producing bi-ped can be changed to an egg producer-smh.
Basic biology and basic husbandry is DEAD!
 

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Guys, we are all ignorant in the horse buggy building now days.
So what?
The horse buggy builders are just as well ignorant in SQL coding.
So what?

One must admit - today and here, those willing and able to learn can do it 10x faster and better than back in the horse buggy days.

You can kick the Internet all you want - then Thank the Beesource for all the learning you do here.
Do you see the "oops" part yet?

There is nothing new - no need kick anyone.
No need to idolize anyone either.
The horse buggy builders had exact same problems of today (just at much slower pace).
 

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When I was a kid I did what my dad told me to do with the bees without knowing why. It wasn't until I was on my own that I learned the why. He died a long time ago, and if he could see the new things I have to do -- varroa control -- he would be doing what I say without knowing the why.
 

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MSL - I would not trust those BIP statistics any farther than I can pee into a stiff head wind at 20 below zero. I have talked to them, and taken their surveys. I beliueve the surveys are very poorly constructed, and often "leading". No matter what you have observed, when you answer the questions, it turns out mites are to blame. We will see if this year's survey is any better.

So yes, I consider BIP also unskilled and unaware.

Crazy Roland
 

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I started in the late 80s. Bought a couple hives, joined the beekeeping association in Boulder. I went to all the meetings and stayed late to talk to the old guys. Sometimes I didn't have a clue what they were talking about until later.......I would realize, "Oh, THAT'S what he meant!"
I subscribed to ABJ and Gleanings.
Expanded to a couple dozen hives and sold the honey at our restaurant.

I tried to learn all I could. Then the mites came, and while the folks at the bee club were focusing on tracheal mites, the varroa wiped us out.
One of the guys went from around 200 hives to 5.

I gave it up for a few years and got back in to it almost by accident by helping a friend when he got bees.
Now I'm hooked again.

Beekeeping sure seemed easier back when I first started thirty or so years ago
I find that I really don't know squat about the bees.
But somehow I keep them alive, gather some honey, make a few splits, etc.

I have so much to learn...... then I talk to neighbors or folks I meet who just got a hive for their backyard and boy, they are going all organic and if you don't use foundation the bees don't get sick or get mites, and they don't swarm for the first two years and, and, and....

Those folks make me feel smart. God bless em.
 

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Roland, you and I both agree that the BIP numbers are a load of road apples.
 

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sure it has plenty of problems, but we have quite literally nothing else

No matter what you have observed, when you answer the questions, it turns out mites are to blame.
that's an interesting take given that's not what the data sets sho, at least on the commercial end
 
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