Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

October 1, 2012


This past weekend, I was at the Pensacola Seafood Festival showing and telling about the honey bees. After I gave my ‘almost-not-quite-hardly’ canned speech (I do not have a written script), one man in one of my audiences said that I should write a book about what I just told him. I told him that all that I said was written in many books already. He said that the information probably was, “But, he said, it wasn’t written as you presented it. It was very plain using words that the general audience could understand.”

Well I don’t know about that, but I have thought about it and the more I think, the more I believe that I would have to get the program called ‘Dragon’ so I can talk the book rather than write it as I think it. I can talk much faster than I can type.

Have you ever said something and then tried to write it down? The two are completely different from each other. You talk one way, but when you write, you use a completely different set (type) of words and the structure of your sentences are completely different from the spoken structure. I am not an author and I don’t even profess to have the knowledge of bonified writers.

I am an orator first and I use the language of my audience. If I am talking to pre-kindergartners to first and second graders, then I use words like, “Play-like we are  fairies like Tinkerbell (everyone knows Peter Pan’s sidekick)”.  And “raising sandboxes up in a tree”. For those of you that cannot think fast enough, we pretend that we use ropes for this maneuver. Then the new girl (virgin queen) says that she will only play with the boy (drone) that is fast enough to catch her before she gets to the sandbox.

If I am making a bee presentation to third graders through fourteen or fifteen year olds, then I  I use words like dating and putting two straws in a common drink. The boy and girl butts foreheads and drinks the container dry. Boys have to drink fast because the girls might get more.  Some of you remember the 50’s and 60’s where you went to the sock hop in the school’s gym and flirted with the girls across the floor and went home and had good dreams all night long. Or you accidentally brushed the arm of a girl walking down the hall. I’M NOT WASHING MY ARM FOR A WEEK! Wow what a charge!

In the last two scenarios, The boy is sooo happy that he just goes off into the woods and dies—–dead! Never to be seen or heard from again.

On the other hand, if the audience is adults (high school and up) then I tell it like it really is (mating) and tell how the drone has to break his back in order to penetrate the virgin queen and falls off dead.

Now, I have to stop here and regroup. I have gone back several times to correct or to ‘splaine what I am talking about. I too, talk different than I write. Now I have to talk to myself as if I were talking to you, to get my thoughts clear on how to proceed.

If I am unlucky enough to be standing in front of a group of Scientists, Entomologists, or Biology/Zoologists, then I hope that I am quick enough remember to say Apis Mallifera Mallifera; Apis Mallifera Scutelata; or even, “Hi, my name is Peaches.” But you get the gist of my thoughts. I try to talk to the audience, not over or under their heads.

In order to communicate to a child, you do not use words outside of their understanding. “The drones are needed to impregnate the virgin queens in order to propagate the species.” Some of the adults do not understand some of these words either.

You want to be understood, so talk to the audience in the simplest terms you can without insulting their intelligence. According to some of the powers that be, I am a Master Beekeeper. I may hold the title, but believe-you-me, I do not know it all. I am still learning just like some of you. I just happen to know a little more than some of you new beekeepers.

You may think I have just written a book, but this is just a short essay of 1001 words. I would like to leave you with a short story that all my audiences seem to like or have a reaction to in various ways.

Very loosely translated — The boys that are unlucky or lucky enough, (whichever you prefer) that did not get to fly with the queen, gets to stay around until Winter time.  At that time, the girls say, “Boys, you don’t feed the babies, nor do you sweep the floors, you don’t prepare the baby food or cook the honey, nor do you join the Army and keep bandits out of the hive or go to Walmart and gather groceries. YOU DON’T EVEN FEED YOURSELVES! We are not going stand here and feed you our winter food just in case the winter is longer than we think. There are no virgin queens flying in the winter so we don’t need you.”

At this point the workers kick all the boys out and shut the door.  Well—-you know, some of the guys don’t think that is such a good idea so they try to get back in. This is when several girls gang up on a boy and take him back outside–tears his wings off, pulls his legs off, and drops him on the ground and shakes a finger at him and says, “Now you will stay put!” They mean what they say. Now, how would you like to be a boy in a bee colony?

Have a great day until the next time – Keep you hive tool sharp, your smoker lit, and  your veil close by.

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