January 03, 2017

How much space does a beehive need?

"I'm thinking about starting beekeeping. How much space does a beehive need?" asked Skylar. It's a great first question but I feel like there are so many other questions a budding beekeeper should ask before that one. Hindsight's 20/20 I suppose. Only once you've kept bees for a while do you realize that the space requirement is not the #1 consideration. Nevertheless, I'm going to try to answer the question in as short a post as possible.

One beehive needs as much airspace as you can offer. Extrapolating the flight path of the bees in this video by even just 10 feet should give you an idea of how much space a beehive needs.

January 01, 2017

Affordable Epinephrine. Affordable Healthcare.

Interviewing for a job these days is interesting. Instead of action words and bullet points, my new resumé features Honey Glow and prominently displays my social "handles" complete with icons. On the emailed version, they are hot-linked and clickable. My first interview went something like this.
UNKNOWN CALLER: "Hello? this is [garbled static] at Sur la Table. I'm looking at your bees. I love honey! When are you going to be finished with getting shots?"

ME: Whoa! I think to myself. Okay, interview mode… That's kinda a weird question. What's the right answer? Something positive but not too detailed. What are they looking at…my Etsy shop? Instagram? Blog? Don't hesitate too long, say something!


ME: "Two more years but I'm thinking of starting again in the spring. I have to carry EpiPens any way, so why wait?"
Well, the $300-600 per pair cost might have something to do with that. Except, maybe not! At least two groups are working to provide alternative delivery devices. Allergy Stop's got a couple of things going for it that make it a better choice than Mylan's product: it's small and it's going to be affordable. Like 50 bucks, if the doctor that's developing it can raise the financial backing needed to bring it to market. I'm assuming the cost can be so low because the mechanism is pretty basic; you'll get a preloaded syringe but will have to attach a needle to use it. The outer packaging looks pretty sleek.

Learn about Allergy Stop at 
Learn more about Windgap's device
at youtu.be/4bUQ2Qywtn4.
Photo from marketingmama.com
Windgap Medical is working on another fits-in-your-palm sized device but it's still 2 years from even submitting an application to regulators. Their auto-injector will employ a wet-dry mechanism, which is supposed to make their product more temperature-stable than EpiPens. I'm interested to know what its extended shelf-life will be. It probably won't be as affordable as AllergyStop, but a potential 5-yr shelf life sounds pretty good, and it will have the portability factor that is so important.

I've written before about the form factor of Epi-Pen and AdrenaClick. Unlike the $300 generic EpiPen or $200 generic AdrenaClick, these novel devices are something I can look forward to. I don't care that AllergyStop isn't autoinject, or at least I don't think so. My allergic reaction isn't as quick as for others that suffer anaphylaxis. (Knock on wood.) What matters, to me, is that I'll be able to afford it and once I have it I won't ever choose to not pack it because it's too bulky.

A photo posted by @backyardbee on

And now for the second half of the post: Affordable Healthcare. I'd really like to know who the moron is that determined that laying out 9.66% of your HH income for premiums is affordable. Like many Americans, I'm finding the best way to make healthcare affordable is to not have a job (or earn no more than $11,970) and then take the subsidy. It bothers me that the system is designed to encourage Americans to not contribute to our economy. And on top of that, to take from it.

Poverty is pretty easy to achieve, so I'm officially on Medicaid now. Unfortunately, there's still some hinky data in the system preventing me from selecting an actual health insurance plan. Once I do, you can rest assured I'll be getting back on track with the VIT. Should be interesting…I have a pretty strong feeling a build-up phase will be involved.