June 17, 2011

RANT: Natural My @SS

I am so sick of people questioning others' desire to super their TBH, saying it's "not natural." Why do some presume that all TBH beekeepers are "natural" beekeepers? Face it, people, keeping bees in a box is not natural, no matter how you shape it. Especially here in The States. Doesn't matter what you put in/don't put in, on or under a hive, European honeybees are, well, European.

Can't we just keep bees because we want to keep bees, and keep it at that? A beekeeper's motivation is personal and it should not be questioned. It's not any of our business, any more than another person's religious orientation.

Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion. I just don't see how opinions, in and of themselves, are very helpful. Too often, a question is posed in the forums and all the inquirer gets is opinion. I would like to see presumptions/assumptions put aside so when a new beekeeper asks, "Can I super my TBH?" they simply get an answer (which would be "Yes") and no BS. e.g.: a) "Top Bar Hives are supposed to be natural." There's that word! along with a presumption! Or b) "I don't get the whole going with TBH, then supering thing." That's not an answer people!

Native bee on Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun'
Which leads me to another thing. I implore all forum participants, before you hit "Submit," ask yourself, "Have I answered the question?" If you can't say, "Yes" did you at least provide a lead? If not, don't hit that button. Please. And Thank You.


Bob Nelson said...

Couldn't agree with you more here! I once saw a continuum of sorts as to what counted as natural beekeeping moving to unnatural (I guess) beekeeping. It was a pretty honest assessment starting with putting bees in a box moving through using organic supplements to using chemicals/pesticides. But the point was pretty much the same as you make: honey bees are not native to the U.S and the best we can do at this point is realize that we have developed a system to use critters we can never domesticate to our profit (whether it be for our crops, our wallets our our mouths).

All that said, I want to reinforce your suggestion about forum participation. When you ask three beekeepers a question, you'll get at least four opinions. So, veteran beeks, help out the newbees and not only answer the query, but give some reasoning behind your opinion.

In the meantime, super away! (just be aware that supering has a string of extra equipment necessary but can be quite beneficial to a beekeeper with limited time to go out and do multiple harvests...)

HB said...

@Bob NelsonThanks for your comments, Bob. I have lots more to say on this, but I'm counting to 10 first.

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