Monday, March 19, 2007

Latest buzz on the honeybees

Our beekeeper came by the other day to check on the hives. So far so good. Here is Charles casually working among the hives while surrounded by swarms of bees:

and putting out the smoker:

We really admire his ability to work with the bees. His moods seem to follow the bees' behavior. If they're quiet and holed up in their hive—which is what happens anytime it's below 56 degrees—he seems morose. If they're active and flying around, he cheers up noticeably. Popsey has gone so far as to wonder if he's part bee.

He doesn't mind getting stung at all. It's almost as if he kind of likes it. Neither Popsey or I have been stung since the bees have been here, and we walk close to them all the time. We have to be careful though. There's a marshy area next to the pond that they love, where they hover close to the ground and drink water. You don't want to step there in flip flops.

In other bee-related news, you may have heard, a disease is killing off large numbers of honeybees across the country. The cause has not been determined. Since much of our food supply is the result of bee pollination, it is a serious problem. Just another thing to worry about in these crazy times.

This article from the SF Chronicle talks about the possiblity that the disease is spread through genetically modified agriculture. Another hypothesis is it is caused by pesticides.

Isn't it about time pesticides were outlawed? And genetically modified agriculture while we're at it? How much more proof is needed that pesticides are damaging much more than just the "bad" insects? If anyone in charge is reading this, could you please take care of that? That would be greeaaat. Thanks.


  1. Isn't this a scary thing about these bees. I've been thinking of doing a post but I think I will just post and link to your site.

  2. I'd be honored. Next one of us will have to post about the frogs...another scary thing.