I am almost ashamed to write this post. As a person who has obtained the rank of Master Beekeeper, I am not showing much promise in proving it. It really takes more than a piece of paper to make a master of anything without making some effort to “practice what you preach”. A Dr. of Philosophy doesn’t show much intelligence without philosophizing any. A Dr. of Medicine doesn’t elicit much trust if he doesn’t practice. A Master Mathematician doesn’t show much numerical ability without doing some calculations.
By the same token, a Master Beekeeper doesn’t generate much faith in his wisdom if he doesn’t show his ability to run an apiary with measured success if he keeps starving his bees, or letting the pests and parasites to decimate his colonies. I could say, “Do as I say and not as I do”, but that is a cop out of putting the blame onto someone else. I have no one to blame but myself. On second thought, I AM ashamed to write this post.
But the truth of the matter is, I have to do something to motivate me into action. I can tell everyone else how to operate their apiaries and how to manipulate their bees to help them to increase their numbers and health, but I don’t seem to be able to make myself do the same for me. I would make a good boss and maybe a fair teacher, but I am not a very good leader. A good leader will lead by example which I am not doing.
Now that I have no bees, I could use this time to clean up my apiary, equipment, get my boxes repaired or replaced along with the frames and foundations. This would be a good time to have a class on how to do this by having some wannabees and new beekeepers over to get that experience using my equipment. It would help both of us, but I find it hard to ask for help. I have always done things for me by myself. That is a failing on my part.
You wonder what this has to do with beekeeping? Well let me tell you. It is life in general. The ladies where I grew up would have a quilting bee by having a group meet at someone’s house and sew some quilts together to sell or give to the needy or to replace the old worn out bed covers. Then there are the ladies that have canning parties so every one can put up some fresh fruit and vegetables. I was a cowboy in my younger years and come roundup time for branding, moving cattle to another pasture, or getting ready for the market, the different neighboring ranches would send one, two, or more ranch hands to help. It was called being neighborly.
Beekeepers could do that, but being what they are, most beekeepers are solitary beings, unless they are commercials, then they have their employees to do the work. I would like to see the beekeepers be neighborly like that, but they are a afraid that if someone knew where all their locations are, they would soon be missing some hives, or that someone would move in close to their areas and cut down on the forage volume.
I personally have not problem with beekeepers calling me with questions, asking me to come look at their bees, showing them what the heck I was talking about, and explaining by using their bees as examples. But to me, being a self contained unit, asking for help is like admitting that I am not sufficient to complete the task. The mighty ego is the downfall of not just me, but a lot of people, not just beekeepers.
Maybe by the next post, I will have some better news as to my progress on the cleanup and getting ready for the next swarm.
In the mean time, keep your veil handy, your smoker lit, and your hive tool sharp!