It seems to me that the metabolism of beekeepers is finely tuned to the ebb and flow of the hive. We have morphed our lives into the same do or die schedule as the colony. They rest, we rest. They race, we race and so on. We tend to notice more of what is blooming than what is on our “to do” lists for important things around the house. Saving for those extravagant vacations gave way to the multitude of trips to the bee supply store. “Honey (no pun intended), where are we going on vacation this year?” If you answer at all, it’s an unintelligible mumble that would never stand up in court. No commitment here. Not when there are bees to slave after. Besides, who could we trust with our little babies.
This 2013 swarm season, like so many of the past, has stretched our lives, pocketbooks, and relationships to the limits. Kind of like some sort of addiction or being a zombie possessed by some bee voodoo witch doctor. ANOTHER SWARM! GREAT! Just let me catch my breath and I’ll be there in five minutes! We say on the phone. No idea where we are going to put it. No more equipment to put it in. Can’t spend another dime (right, sure, sure). We justify another hive by telling ourselves this one will really pay off when I sell it next spring. Not that we ever would. We have plenty of time to construct those white lies on our way home later.
No other human on earth could possibly understand this addictive fascination with the Honey Bee. In all seriousness, it is us beekeepers who have been chosen by fate to devote our lives to this most important and valuable little bug. This little bug who works tirelessly to pollinate and thereby create the very sustenance that makes feeding six billion people possible. I’ve heard say, that about one third of our food is the result of pollination. We panic when a single crop is affected by the weather. Try a thirty percent drop of all food! To be a beekeeper is to understand the necessity of the Honey Bee. To be a beekeeper is to join forces with our beekeeper ilk to learn, share, assist and console. This beekeepers club thing is a family for sure. The skin in the game is ensuring the world has enough food to survive. Funny, how this monumental task rests upon us and the “shoulders” of a bug.