Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Suggestions to Beekeepers

Beekeepers: When you place the hives in the blueberry fields each spring, drive them down the access road and set them deeper in the fields. Do not set the hives along the public road. I average four splats against my windshield every time I pass the hives. That's eight or-so dead bees for me per day, at minimum. If five hundred cars make the same trip I do each day and have the same experience, that's 4,000 bees a day, wasted. Over ten days of pollination, 40,000 bees.

Count up the fields where this is done hereabouts and the loss of bees is staggering.



Suggestions to Beekeepers

Yes, great title for a poem.


Blogger Virgin In The Volcano said...

Totally a great title.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...


11:08 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...


1:16 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Hey, R.K.:

I am attempting to absolve myself in a mythology of collective shame and responisbility.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...


2:20 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yes, yes, yes, please write that poem! I just read a short collection of poems that involved bees--of course I can't remember the poet or full title, but I know the title is a quote from a Dickenson poem--Danger Honey? Angry Honey? Mud Honey? Arg. I'm also aware that I most likely spelled Dickenson wrong; I'm on vacation. I'm allowed.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Mud Honey

4:45 PM  
Blogger Susan Och said...

When I was a beekeeper I had a "Suggestion to Self" that went:

"Today, at least, don't drive down any innocent looking two tracks that turn out to have bogs, mud pits, sugar sand, woodchuck tunnels, or anything else that could swallow the rear wheels of the truck."

I don't disagree with your math, but this is spring and the bees will forage and replenish their ranks very fast, perhaps faster than it would take the beekeeper to hunt down a tractor and chain and get the truck unstuck again.

9:29 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...


Okay, Your explanation makes sense, particularly with all the rain we've had.

Still, it seems like such a waste.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Correction: Mudhoney is a grunge band that seems to still be stuck in my mind.

The title may be Violent Honey.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Susan Och said...

I also hate to see them splatting on my windshield. There was a large wintering yard next to the highway near me for a while. Every warm spring day I'd be slowing down for the bee yard.

Siting a bee yard is an art in itself. You have to move them after dusk or before dawn if you want to bring the bees and not just the boxes. You have to move them at least two miles or in the morning they'll all fly out and then fly home to their old location. Once you get them there, you can't readjust except incrementally: move the hive four feet and they'll find it but move it twenty feet and you will have a mass of bees huddled where the hive used to be. Ideally you would visit a location and walk the two track before you get there in the dark with the bees, but gas is not cheap these days.

If you get a good site, it can be smack dab in the middle of all kinds of human activity. As long as you keep the flight lines away from people they'll never know. People like to plant all sorts of nectar producing plants, but don't go up and down the street asking if it's OK to move in a few hives......

11:17 AM  

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