Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Bees?

OK, so the burning question from many of you has been: Why bees?

A simple question, so I'll do my best to provide a simple answer. (And my sincere apologies for taking so long to get back to this...)

Bees are interesting and cool. In my opinion. Sort-of like Aliens, but with less chest-popping and acid-burning... They both have a queen that lays millions of eggs, and they both live in a hive. And they both have an army of underlings to do their bidding. How cool is that? I loved that movie...

OK, back to the bees. Seriously this time. They are incredibly important to us. Most of our food crops exist because there was a bee that could pollinate a plant, from the simple vegetables grown by the neighbor down the road, to the huge agri-business farms of the Midwest and California. Without bees we would be in trouble. Think about where all your food comes from, the next time you are in the supermarket. Somewhere along the line a bee of some type was involved.

And then there is the nature-geek side of me. (We'll come back to bees in the next post.) David often says I am his National Geographic man. I just find nature and science fascinating. I love to learn and explore anything related to either topic, which I know are vast topics. I'm never bored.

So, that is why bees. They are incredibly important to us for food production, and I think they are interesting.

Next time: Why bees are in trouble and what YOU can do about it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In the beginning...

So here it is. My blog. About bees.

Where to start... I have been interested in bees for a number of years now, but never knew where to start. A few introductions to Erin and Phil and I was off and running. You'll hear their names in here every so often. Erin is a master beekeeper here in Maine. Phil is a neighbor and has had bees for over 2 years now. Erin just taught the intro class I took in March.

Anyway, back to me and the bees... Bees are fascinating. And oh so important for agriculture. So many of the fruits and vegetables we eat are pollinated by bees. Much of the meat we eat is fed with feed (corn) that is pollinated by bees. Without bees we would be in trouble. And bees are not doing well.

So I decided it was time to jump in and learn about bees, and contribute in my own little way. Erin has said that a few small bee keepers won't make much of a difference, but I'd like to think I'm part of the solution. It makes me feel better.

So I am a novice bee keeper. I know enough to be dangerous. There is a TON I don't know, but hopefully will learn with out making too many mistakes. And I know I will make mistakes. And I will post them all here for you to read about. So what I am going to do: start from the beginning of experience with bees. And post all the details, boring and otherwise. I welcome your comments.