I have been a Beekeeper for over 12 years. I have been a gardener all my life. What have I learned over that time?
I have been thinking about what I have learned, not only this year, but all the years that have passed. All the 12+ years that I have been keeping bees and beyond that with my gardening knowledge. The lessons do not come in just a particular year, but instead come with the accumulation of several years and many experiences.
- Let the Bees be Bees!! They really do not need you or me. I watch them mostly. What they are bringing in, what they are doing, where I see them in the yard. It becomes more and more clear to me that the bees know what they need and why they do what they do.
- The Bees know me. I still wear protective gear if I am going to disturb the hive for any reason, but I wear it less and less if just doing small tasks around the hive. In the yard, they buzz around me and seem to know me and are saying hi. They are known as “My Girls”.
- The more people that I know and meet………the More I like my Bees and my Dogs! Don’t get me wrong, I do like my small doses of people, but they just seem to be getting more and more ignorant!? The tearing down of trees and destroying the natural areas is sometimes more than I can handle. It disturbs me to the core that people have such disregard for the life all around us in nature. When I am in my little haven of land, I am the happiest. I always have a list of things to do, usually more than I can accomplish in any given day. I am content. I get done what I can and what I deem to be most important. You can have your malls and your big box stores. I will tend to support the little guy, the neighborhood stores and my farmer’s market!
- You Never get done with planting for your bees or gardening….ever! So many writers and websites have lists of things that bees like. I have found that list to be Never Ending!! When I think that I have learned all the plants that the bees like, I discover more. Yes, I have a list of plants and would someday like to put it into a field guide or book for other beekeepers, but the list just keeps growing. Too many plants, not enough time!
- Bees and my gardens make me slow down. The ability to slow down is a quality that many people lack. Some people Love the “rat race”. I Love the slow changing of my gardens, the changing of the seasons and watching my bees and what they go to next. Nature has it all figured out and we could learn a thing or two from her. Observing and thinking are a couple of things that the world could use more of.
- Honey is the most wonderful, medicinal, sweet substance on the face of God’s green earth. I take a teaspoon a day, usually in the morning with my first sip of coffee. There are so many beneficial ingredients in pure local honey, including anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, just to name a few big ones. Not the stuff in the stores. Pure Local Honey from a local beekeeper.
- Dealing with Muggle neighbors that think they need that lawn with no “weeds” can be a bit exhausting. I am trying to bring out the education slowly. One of my neighbors knows that my bees visit his flowers, yet he insists on using herbicides to kill dandelion and clover (2 of the most visited flowers by bees). If my bees take one drop of tainted nectar back to the hive, it can kill the entire hive. He does not realize how many hives he may have already killed. With urban sprawl, I may have a bigger battle to fight!
I’m sure that there are more things that the bees have taught me over the years, but I think that this list is sufficient for now.
I will close out this 2021 year and blog with pictures of my Honey Bees on a Calendula Flower. I have protected this annual plant from frost (so far) and the bees find it daily. Next to it is regular annual Begonia. The bees like it too. There is not much forage on a late December day, so this is a treat.
Hoping for a True Change in this World in 2022 and beyond!! We definitely need some things to CHANGE!!
The Bee Lady – December 2021