Package Bee Express

In my meagre effort to stay informed about bees, beekeeping, and beekeepers, I occasionally creep around the internet, stalking new ideas, and sometimes marveling at the bad beekeeping I find in cyberville. Here is an amazing statement from a hobby beekeeper, a Yuppy type, perhaps a very nice human, but possibly lacking any discernible connection to practical reality. I saw this statement on the organic beekeepers group, over at Yahoo.

“I picked up my package this past Saturday and it was about an hour away.
My daughter had it on her lap on the front seat.
I have a Mazda RX7 sports car. They calm down.
We even had a loose bee in the car and my daughter
had it on her finger and was talking to it.”

…the new RX7 Bee Truck

To which an experienced beekeeper replied, “Right. And it never occurred to you that if you got into a fender bender and the air bag went off, the package would have been crushed and your daughter would have been stung hundreds of times …”

I include this blog entry not to show contempt for the artsy-fartsy crowd which squanders the Earth’s resources on sports cars, but rather I am trying to point out shallow-thinking syndrome. The beekeeper – even the hobby beekeeper – needs to think clearly all the time, or things will go wrong – people may die. It’s so easy to make a mistake; so hard to fix one. Whether deciding to requeen, to split hives, to add supers, to harvest early or late, or to allow a young passenger to balance a package of bees on her lap at 120 kilometres an hour, the beekeeper’s ability to make smart choices is important. Or maybe not – sometimes bees do stupendously well, regardless of how poorly the beekeeper performs. However, it’s the beekeeper who drives the conspicuously consumptive sports car, not the bee.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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