Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trouble Brewing

There are certain things that we learn too late. It’s really hard living with the regret that is compounded every year as a result of the original deed which was one of good intentions in years previous.

The sin that lingers and haunts my present is one of obtaining hives of bees for people that never took my class, nor had the inclination to learn to take care of bee colonies properly. Every year I get a phone call from these people to ask me to pick up a swarm that emitted from the hives I got for them. Worse yet is when their neighbors call me after a swarm has taken over their fruit tree or has moved into the walls of their home.

I have learned that when I am approached to sell someone some bees, I try to convince them to get some equipment and learn to catch swarms. This way I don’t feel responsible for their laziness. If they insist they want to buy them I insist they take my class before hand. I’ve had a lot of people that decided not to get involved with beekeeping after taking my class. There is a lot more work and maintenance than one might believe.


Blogger darev2005 said...

If I were there, I would take your class just to learn things. I have no intention of ever keeping bees. At least I know if I give out a copy of my adirondack chair patterns, they won't end up taking over a whole neighborhood. And, at this point, nobody has ever approached me wanting to run their own prison. So I guess I'm safe for now.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have taken your advice to heart and tell people they must take a class and must actually handle bees before they drop money on hives. I've had 8 people at different times come to my apiary to actually touch bees and experience an opened up hive. 3 of those people now have hives and are doing well. 2 completely freaked out within minutes and pretty much ran away even though they were wearing protective gear. 2 thought it was really fascinating, but admitted that the time and expense was to much for them. 1 guy kind of stood there nodding and kind of leaned over to look then left never to be seen again so I don't know what he did.

9:01 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, for now you are.

Anon, good call. Every year I consider not offering the class and not offering to drive to the valley to bring home a trailer load of colonies for people. But somehow it usually works out and the students still keep in touch with me with questions and stories of their successes and failures.

6:53 AM  
Blogger g said...

I think any of us that have a particular skill set or hobby have/do encounter these situations.

I fix computers in my spare time for people. I tell them I'll fix their computer if it's a software problem. I tell them if it's hardware, to take it to a computer person because I don't want to get into installing and warranting the components.

On everyone's computer I fix, I have a set number of antivirus programs that I install and place a text document on their desktop with explicit instructions on how to maintain their commputer.

No one listens or reads. Inevitably, I get the computer back 6 months later to do it all over again.

So in effect, bees are a lot like computers.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

interesting post, and yes...the best 'pet', 'computer', 'bee' owner is an educated one. I try very hard to do that with the cats I send out into the world...educate the owner before they take possession. It's not always perfect, but it certainly helps.

7:34 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It seems like your training worked with Tango.

8:28 AM  

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