March 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm #8033
I just want to remind people on this forum who are keeping feral bees in Los Angeles, that having bees is not like having a cat. A beehive is a very hungry beast; it requires regular attention, frequently and with clear intentions and knowledge of what needs to be done. It requires thoughtful problem-solving skills and oversight. It’s important to get advice and help from other beekeepers too, not just from books or the web.
Please do not give a hive or a swarm to someone who is not ready to take on the responsibility of working with it. I am unfortunately now being asked to remove the “pet bee hive” that was given to someone who really never cared for or about it; it is badly overcrowded, and will require a mess of attention that I do not have time to give. Let’s all pro-actively try to prevent this type of thing from happening, and inform our friends that beekeeping is a wonderful hobby, but it’s not free and it does require self-education and a regular input of hive inspection and maintenance time.
RuthMarch 10, 2014 at 8:03 am #8040
Thanks for saying this so clearly and straightforwardly. I am getting some feedback from former mentees who have not kept up communication or management, and now there are serious stinging issues.
I am not “handing off” swarm boxes in the way I used to, to just anyone calling, because I have found out the hard way how worrisome and unsafe this can be. I now ask for information on the effort the adoptee has made to become educated, what equipment they have and who will support them in their beekeeping.
SusanMarch 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm #8056
What about some kind of practical examination (inspection of a big mature hive, for example) before someone is allowed to take home a swarm?
Two years ago I thought beekeeping was for everyone. I was naive. It’s not for everyone. That’s not meant as a judgment it’s just a fact, as we are now seeing. A practical exam might help newbees decide if it’s really for them. Weeding them out actually does them a favor. Giving swarms to starry eyed dreamers and inadvertently putting them in a mess two years down the road is cruel.
I haven’t thought carefully about potential problems with this, or whether there would need to be some fee, etc. as I’m not familiar with how HoneyLove works. (am an erstwhile eastside bbk)
March 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm #8059
- This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Kalmus.
I find it hard to believe that any true professional would set up a hive for someone who didn’t originally show promise and dedication to beekeeping.
A bee hive is NOTHING like a puppy or kitten, and yet, animals end up in shelters when the owners no longer want them or cannot care for them. People are often unrealistic about their willingness to even do the work necessary to raise their own children!
In my experience, however, not all bee mentors have the same degree of professionalism as Ruth Askren. After being set up with a hive by our original bee person, it was only through lots of research that we discovered better ways (more natural) to care for our hive. We feel very fortunate to have found Ruth. Since last May, she has worked with us to undo “damage” caused by misinformation–and noninformation–from the original bee guy.
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