Friday, November 21, 2008

Video: The Lower Entrance of Bee Glad...

Another video of Bee Glad...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Article from the European Parliament Website

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Future Plans

I am beginning to lay out my plans for next season. However, as I continue to consider these things, in light of my growing background in environmental sociology, I have started to recognize how inadequate my plans for the expansion of Beelandia are for the sustainability of bees. Unless sustainable apicultural plans are coupled with activism for structural change, the future of bees looks bleak. The bees are caught on a human-created political-economic "treadmill" that threatens their existence, no matter how many natural, and organic techniques I use. This gives me a great deal to consider this winter.

As far as Beelandia, here are a few definite plans:

1. If all goes well, I will add 4 more hives. Two will be added through walk-away splits of Metpropolis and Bee Glad.... The two others will come from starting colonies with new packages. Of course, all this depends on how Metropolis and Bee Glad... fair through the winter.

2. Monta plans on constructing two new Kenyan top bar hives and a Warre. The other new hive will simply be a Langstroth.

3. Two of the new hives will be located outside of Beelandia. I think that there is really only enough room for 4 hives in Beelandia proper, so the two others will be set in some other areas. My friend, Chris, who already keeps some bees on his farm himself, has given me permission to put a top bar hive on his property. I have some other leads for placing the Warre. (My State Senator said she'd like a hive in her yard but I don't know whether she was serious or just trying to get my vote.)

4. I will be ready with nucs, just in case some of the hives thrive enough in the summer so that I can make other splits.

Video: Mike's Initiation to Bee Orientation

My son in law, Mike, went out bravely to film Monta and I, as we stood in the midst of a Metpropolis orientation flight late one July afternoon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Video: Upper Entrance

Another video taken in mid-October of the upper entrance of Bee Glad...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Video: At The Kendall Farm

This fall Monta and I spent some time visiting the bees of our friends, the Kendalls. I filmed a worker evicting a drone, and then a guard bee decided to evict me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Videos: The Big Mistake

I shot a number of videos of Beelandia this summer and fall and have finally got around to uploading a few to my Youtube account. The video I'd like to share with you all today illustrates a dumb mistake I made as new beekeeper. I was preparing to feed both Metpropolis and Bee Glad... some sugar syrup early in the fall, got distracted, and left an open bottle of syrup on top of Metpropolis. It did not take long for the bees (and wasps) to discover the syrup and go into a feeding frenzy. Next time, I will be more careful.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Model of Reality vs. Reality of Model

I wrote this in response to some comments  I've read on facebook, concerning the election of Mr. Obama. These conservative friends expressed a fear over Obama's election, mostly because they said he was economically "naive" for not allowing the freemarket, free reign. Of course, the assumption being made by these individuals is that the "free market" model is reality, and Obama's approach ignores economic reality. While the latter, no doubt, has  a small grain of  truth, the commenters fail to examine the mote in their own eye. All economic models of reality are words about reality and not reality itself.

(I am deliberately writing this in the abstract. As Foucault once said, "Let the police worry if my papers are in order".)

In one of Mark Twain's lesser known stories about Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, the duo find themselves loss somewhere in the midwest floating in a hot air balloon. Both Huck and Tom are intently examining a map, while looking for landmarks, trying to discover just where they are. Finally, after some time, Huck states with great certainty,

"We are in Illinois!"

"How do you know that, Huck?" responds Tom.

"Well, look down there! Everything is so green!" says Tom.

"What does that have to do with where we are?" Tom asks in confusion.

"Well, look at the map... Illinois is all green. If we were in Indiana everything would be pink."

An amusing story and we can all chuckle over Huck's naive understanding of maps; we all know that a map's purpose is simply to help us with navigation and not a detailed picture of geographic reality. Maps serve their purpose well as long as we understand what their purpose and assumptions are. As sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu has pointed out, an unsimplified geographic map would be useless since it would be the exact same size as the geography it was mapping.

As amused as we are with Huck's "naive realism", don't we all do the same thing with our own political economic "maps" of reality. We fail to critically examine our own "maps" purpose and assumptions and take it as a total picture of reality. Of course, we are very good at pointing out the problems with the political economic maps of others... we see them riddled in "unreality"