Walden Publishing: Helping New Beekeepers

A few months ago, Walden Publishing printed a beginning beekeeping article which they asked me to write: When to Harvest Honey.  It can be found here.  Then I was asked to produce a more general piece on beekeeping, which is now in their monthly, subscription-based e-journal, Independence Monthly. I’ll probably prepare a few more articles in this series.  If you are a new beekeeper, you will find these pieces useful. If you are interested in self-sufficiency, living off-grid, or exploring new independent lifestyles, you will find the journal and their free website helpful.

If you are an old hand at beekeeping, you might question some of my advice.  That’s OK. There are as many ways to keep bees as there are climates, environments, nectar sources, beehives, and beekeepers in the world.  The basics are similar, but in the end, all beekeeping is local. You first learn the basic stuff, then adapt it to the conditions in your own back yard.

But when it comes to dispensing written bee advice, here’s another thing to ponder: how does one distill essential facts into a few hundred well-chosen words? The Walden editors were kind enough to offer suggestions. But it was still a tough task. If a stranger phoned you and asked, “What should I do to become a beekeeper?” could you answer in under three minutes? If I were actually asked in that way, my advice would be “Meet up with a good, established beekeeper in your area.”  Then I’d have to explain the difference between a good beekeeper and a messed-up one. I’d also have to give some ideas on how to find and then approach that potential good beekeeper/mentor. But really, I’m just deflecting the answer, aren’t I? Basically, I’m saying, “Let someone else show you.” 

In my Walden piece, I give lots of basic advice.  I also mention the importance of a mentor. Here’s the story lead, as it appears in Walden’s Independence newsletter:

Most readers of this blog are experienced beekeepers. You probably have your own answers for newbee/wannabees, but if you take a look at one of my pieces over at Walden, you can see how I handled the question.  It’s not easy. But trying to explain some aspect of beekeeping to a beginner is a good, disciplined way to consider your own beekeeping habits. By thinking about what you need to tell a new beekeeper, you engage in a bit of self-examination.

If you are an independent spirit (and most beekeepers do), there is a lot of advice about non-bee subjects which you will enjoy from Walden Publishing. Recent pieces include home brewing, increasing health and well-being, protecting your internet privacy, selecting a proper dairy cow, and producing enough eggs from back yard chickens. That’s a pretty good variety.  Check it out, read my piece, and tell me what you think about it.

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.
This entry was posted in Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Outreach and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Walden Publishing: Helping New Beekeepers

  1. Pingback: Walden Publishing: Helping New Beekeepers | Beginner Beekeeper

  2. Pingback: Walden Publishing: Helping New Beekeepers | Raising Honey Bees

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey Ron, i haven’t seen you around my inbox lately, I thought the piece was good, particularly the advice of looking around to see what others in the area are doing. I find it interesting to see where the ‘Back to the Land’ movement is in 2017. We were, at least peripherally, part of that in the seventies and looking back I spent way too much time re-inventing the wheel and could have used that advice then. Merry Christmas. garry


    • Ron Miksha says:

      Thanks! I am still alive and capable of writing. Garry, you are actually the fourth person to write and ask about my alleged disappearance! (Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase Mark Twain.) I think that my next post will offer an apology and an explanation regarding my hiatus from the blogosphere. Look for it in a day or two!
      I share your curiosity about “Whatever happened to the Back to the Land movement” – you can see from Walden Publishing that it’s still around. Maybe getting stronger in some circles. That’s a good thing.


      • Jack Rowlands says:

        Hi, Ron. I really enjoyed your beekeeping article. Do you happen to know what happened to walden publishing? I can no longer access my Independence Monthly subscription. Thanks.


      • Ron Miksha says:

        Thanks for the kind words. Independence Monthly contacted me in October, 2017, and asked if I would write a few pieces for them. I expected to write more articles, but never heard from the folks after they bought two articles. I’ve been too busy to think about the company, though I subscribed (paid $39, I think) to the on-line magazine. I noticed that I wasn’t getting letters or links to new magazines from them a couple months ago, but was entirely too busy to follow up.

        Because of your note today, I did some digging. It looks like their Twitter accounts stopped tweeting on December 5, 2017, and their Facebook page went silent on December 6th. Today, I tried to log into their website, but I got stopped. I checked on the status of the editor who asked me to write my two pieces – she apparently quit working for Independence Monthly in March, 2018. From all of this, it appears that they may have closed up but I can’t confirm that. They had not contacted me since October, 2017, so I don’t have any other information.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I read your article and it provides excellent advice presented in a kind voice. When speaking or writing on this topic I could take a lesson from you. 🙂 Thanks, and it’s always nice to open my browser up to see you have posted.


  5. Pingback: Busy as a Bee | Bad Beekeeping Blog

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