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Author Topic: When Mentors Fail  (Read 2903 times)
NWIN Beekeeper
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« on: January 07, 2008, 03:01:11 AM »

Beekeeping has been a long struggle for me.  I didn't come from a long line of beekeepers or have some family member or friend take me under wing and teach me everything. And while no beekeeper is entirely self-taught, it is his/her ambition to drives him/her to perform as they do, and we deserve every ounce of credit for our efforts and results. We need to respect ourselves and learn equally or more from our failures than even our greatest successes.

When I began beekeeping I started with only two hives that I bought from a local member late in year.  Though I never specifically asked to be mentored, the re pore I thought I built during the purchase seemed to imply more help was on its way.  In late summer I proudly did my own two splits which took two months before they were completely robbed dead during the dearth.  The original hives packed away enough stores for the winter, but one failed due to dwindling populations as a result of a mouse.  The next spring came and with the anticipation of spring flow, I also thought the original seller may renew some interest in helping once again. While we did do a branch swarm capture, and I did take on a trap out project, we never conversed much about actual beekeeping. We both used the same forums, and so often gleaned the same information that both shared at our club meetings, but that was about the extent of information sharing.

Matters were further complicated in that most of my club members were old, secretive, and generally not very personable. Books are generally old and not updated, and most never even mention mites,  treatments, or genetics.  The internet was just starting to ramp up with forums such as these.  It was nice to see country wide input, but it was frequently confusing.  Southerners were doing hive manipulations that would surly kill my colonies at the early spring time they were doing them. 

The beacon in the dark seems to be perseverance!
Try and keep on trying.
Read, re-read, and try to look at it in a second light all together.
Try to make observations that answer the questions that trouble you most.
Read people's post, find those that provide answers, facts, and advice that reasonably makes sense.
E-mail those people, ask how they do things, be not afraid to ask.
Be not afraid to leave them if they care not to help or you feel uncomfortable with their advice.
Beekeepers in my region that were beekeepers, not whimsical hobby fakers, were many many hours away.

[I should get some nasty replies for using 'hobby fakers' but please let me explain.  There are those that try and do and achieve.  And then there are those that try and fail and fail and fail and blame it on perpetual testing.  And when those are the same people that do not advance and improve on their successes or fail to share what they were testing for, then you know those are the 'fakers' that blame the results (usually of laziness) on testing, or fluke weather, solar flares, I think you get the idea.]

Understand, there are going to be areas of the country that good beekeepers are not going to be a local commodity.  While this makes it difficult to learn and grow, it assures your spot in your market if  when you can survive.  Regardless how good or poor your local community of beekeepers is, there is always something to be learned from someone (even if it is not to do things like them!).  But try to make it a point to surround yourself with those that care about what you do, that share their successes so that you to can be successful, and so that you may have a good quality role model (sometimes this is more sub-conscious than anything else).  Do not waste your time trying to impress others, beekeeping is scarcely a fashion show, you will quickly learn the best rewards are accomplishing things your way. Often, your operation may only function  in way that you operate it. Some will say this is a grace provided to you by god, others will scoff and say its merely shoe string luck (but trust me, you will know in your heart which it is).

So while mentors may fail, the prodigy in you will succeed so long as you try to learn and do.

This advice is not a quote from a book, one that arm chair beekeepers will falsely reference and then another will argue about its validity, only to waste everyone's time because it doesn't even apply.  Its an absolute truth that will burn in your heart and drive your soul pass the day that your hives are half dead outs from freak cold or come up missing from a senseless robbery or damaged in an act of vandalism. Perseverance will prevail, and as an accomplished beekeeper, only you will understand and respect the results that are the true reward. 

I wish you all the best beekeeping season in the up coming year. May all of us learn and apply the best beekeeping knowledge we can, for the benefit of bees and of our friends and families. Take a moment of your time and call a fellow beekeeper and see how the season is going, or maybe a few minutes of your day to type out a really complete answer to a question on the forum.  I am always surprised just how deeply a little effort impacts a persons ambition and achievement.

-Jeff
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2008, 09:29:32 AM »

When I started Beekeeping I was a Loner because everyone thought I was Nuts still do.I had to work it out.Sometimes it can get to confuseing.I worked out doing and solveing one problem at a time.This page will help you out.I got more understanding from Michael Bush's page than I ever got from a book.His page is very practical give it a read then read again it will work out.
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2008, 09:34:00 AM »

Michael Bush once had on his website something that he use to expalin to his students. I can't do the exact quote here but it went something like this.

The reason children learn so much so quickly is they aren't afraid to make mistakes. If you aren't making mistakes you aren't learning.

This tends to fly in the face of the policy I was taught .

Learn from others mistakes your own are to expensive.

While they may seem mutually exclusive. They actually are not. You just can't take each one to the extreme.

There is of course no teacher like experience. Reading and research is wonderful and vital. But real hands on time gives you wisdom.

You can read all the great books. Understand all the great practices and then still make mistakes when you put them into practice. And on occasion mistakes will cost you money.

Beekeeping has no place for perfectionist. They don't do well as beekeepers because bees don't read the same books as you and once you master one technique they will throw a curve ball at you. Mother nature may also not cooperate with your plans for the season.

I posted an article in the reprint that I thought had a bit of  pretentiousness. It basically said after the course you will know everything you need to about bees.

What it neglected to say was that knowledge won't make you a good beekeeper.

I can teach a person everything he needs to know about wiring his house up. That won't make him a good electrician.

Mentors should try to share their knowledge and wisdom with you. They should also allow you to find out on your own what of their knowledge works for you and what doesn't.

I am still frustrated by having to deal with northern beekeeping techniques in south Florida. they just don't fly. It's like saying this one diet works for everyone when diets really don't work for anyone.

Mentors should also tell you what mistakes they have made and what they were looking for as a result and what they think went wrong. But honestly sometimes they don't know.

You can't look to a mentor for having all the answers but maybe a having the ablity to shove you in the right direction.

I agree the secretive attitude doesn't help anyone. It is a layover from when there use to be an abundance of bee keepers. Those numbers don't exist anymore and now wonderful information is lost.

I have had to deal with having the wind knocked out of me by the very people I am suppose to look up to. The top entomoligists in our area spill out some bad misinformation and has caused me to throw up one or two very ugly rants on these boards.


Simple conclusion. Learn as much as you can in any way possible. But be prepared to tweak it to your needs.

I will share two little bits of wisdom I have garner over my years. The KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid) principal rules. You can do everything right and still fail. Your ablity to accept failure is what makes the difference.  Don't be afraid to fail. You can be frustrated upset and everything else when something goes wrong. But you use that to realize maybe now I need to ask a question.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2008, 09:54:56 AM »


Matters were further complicated in that most of my club members were old, secretive, and generally not very personable.

Are you in my club?Huh?  I heard somewhere that the mean age for american beekeepers is 65.  With that said, my dad is 65 and very secretive.  It is part of the older generations nature from what I have seen.  There are a few exceptions, but many times not.  Most of that generation is afraid that if they tell you too much, then you will have their business. 

I was recently appointed as one of the officers of my bee club.  I offered a few thoughts that were quickly shot into the dirt.

1.  Put up a webpage.
2. Send out club newsletters via Email for those who would rather see it in an email.

Oh well.  Those folks have to retire one day, so attrition will happen and things will change whether they like it or not.
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2008, 10:01:26 AM »


Matters were further complicated in that most of my club members were old, secretive, and generally not very personable.


Are you in my club?Huh?  I heard somewhere that the mean age for american beekeepers is 65.  With that said, my dad is 65 and very secretive.  It is part of the older generations nature from what I have seen.  There are a few exceptions, but many times not.  Most of that generation is afraid that if they tell you too much, then you will have their business. 

I was recently appointed as one of the officers of my bee club.  I offered a few thoughts that were quickly shot into the dirt.

1.  Put up a webpage.
2. Send out club newsletters via Email for those who would rather see it in an email.

Oh well.  Those folks have to retire one day, so attrition will happen and things will change whether they like it or not.


Those items started the year I became vice president of my club. Now you know why I am considering a run for president.
We have a webpage Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association
And a yahoo mailing list. beekeeperspbc@yahoogroups.com.
This is the first year in many they will be having a beekeeping course. I set that up.
Many of the old timers are going to have corinaries before I am done. I just need to keep bringing in younger paying members because they get to vote and they vote with me.  evil

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2008, 10:16:43 AM »

i don't live where i can easily get to beekeeping association meetings.  those members i have met are about 150 years old on average.  i have gotten some great advice from them, but there is a trick to dealing with old, crusty, country folks.  it's pretty simple.  KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.  when you are asked what you know....you know nothing.  when you are told that all you have done is wrong....you have no excuse, explanation, or fix.  you submit to their superior knowledge.

every single one of them will give you different advice.  if they do it in earshot of another, an argument will ensue and you will be left alone to listen.

your only function is as 'sponge', grasshopper.  eventually, you will be adopted, and somewhere along the line you will do something that will prove you are not a neophyte.  new beekeepers will come along and you will get your chance to be the old, crusty, beekeeper, and engage in the old arguements.........smiley
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2008, 11:21:05 AM »

The short version: beekeeping for the hobbyist should be about discovery, so obviously there will be experimentation. There will be success and failure, and hopefully learning what mistakes not to repeat, again. With that said, you just can't go wrong ingesting as much information you can get your hands on, but I like what I see on Michael Bush's site, very practical applications and  lots of good advice, learned through yrs of engaging in beekeeping from a scientific perspective. In fact, I have been re-thinking my set ups, to go with all mediums, it just makes good sense, even though I like deeps for the brood chamber, but I'm not getting any younger, so the weight of the deeps will be an issue for me one day, and the idea of interchangeability (if that's even a word) makes a lot of sense.
I have seen first hand, the crusty, secretive type, that doesn't share, and those types miss out on a lot of fun, friends, and business. I don't refer business to those who want it all for themselves, so they get no referals, would rather mentor a bright eyed newbee asking a million questions, then deal with an old crusted tight lipped crone, anyday.

Good luck, watch out, and have fun!, JP
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2008, 11:52:16 AM »

[KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.]

I absolutely will not.

I often find that in club discussions that 'half the story is left out' intentionally.
It fires up the old folks when I ask the question that I know will result in 'the second half' of the story.

While this frustration makes the old guys mad, it cracks up the new members (and more importantly it educates them with the whole picture, and it generates a great following.)

This is not to say that the 'old smokers' don't get respect or a following (every newbie feels they have to respect the great wise elder - they don't know any better, yet.)

This isn't to say I haven't been railroaded in voting sessions, but at least my voice and opinion gets heard and a few people think "hummm... maybe he's onto something."
-------
The example I love to use is our club fair judging.  We have a fair board of a dozen or so people. Our topic was judging extracted honey by color. It seems people where having too much difficulty deciding which of three categories to enter.  There were light, dark, and amber.  So, people would use their own batches to establish a category (not a universal color scale).  This often resulted in people with dark-light honey entering a dark category and those with a light-dark honey entering the light category.  Of course the product was far off color and often did not place. To remove the problem, the club voted to make two classes, light or dark. Simple, but it degrades the beekeeping craft.

What should have happened is the club should have taught members when and how to extract for specific varietal honeys and select displays upon varietal color.  This would have taught the members how to sell honey for a better price by variety too. Instead, members just think there is a spring flow and fall flow and everything gets tossed in the same holding tank, and color is determined by what flows from the tap. One of the biggest joys of beekeeping is being able to taste different variety honeys that haven't had the flavor pasteurized out of it. 

This is one of a dozen examples.
-----
[I became vice president of my club. Now you know why I am considering a run for president.]

VP is really a token position. I've considered being pres. too, but the only real advantage is everyone calls you first for swarm calls (though it should be on a rotating list so there is no bias).  Perhaps I'd get more than everyone else's seconds, which is always the most difficult cut-outs.  It gets old feeling guilty that you have to do a cutout because you know no one else is qualified or cares and the customer is old and can't pay and the situation is dangerous to their health.

Our club president has a number of 'club hives'.  Its funny, losses are about 50% each year. And though the club bought 5 packages to replace some, we still find ourselves buying wholesale honey to sell at our fair booth. (we also have the opportunity to sell out own honey/products at the fair for an 20/80 split). Anything sound fishy to anyone else? I'm not even going to talk about where the 'club extractor' is stored or who buys surplus 'club bottles' and at what price after the fair.  I wonder if the new president gets all the same perks?  rolleyes
-------
Some have asked why not start an undercurrent of new thinking that overtakes the club.
Because the animosity that would generate is more 'bad will' than I need.
If this is what you need to do locally, don't let me discourage you.
Its just more than I need at this time and place in my operation.
I'd rather miff them a little here and there, but still be respected for what I have learned.
-------
Anyhow, I find those  that are made of the same moral fabric still meet and talk outside of club meetings.
The 'old smokers' can do whatever they please, I'll be over here beekeeping while they waste time muckin' the waters.
-------
Some of the younger members can be just as bad as the old.
A few are so driven by the business buck, they just aren't civil as a person.
While I wish them no malice, I do wish they'd not prosper without a little more humility.
-------
This is what I mean by aligning yourself with the right crowd.
Surround yourself with people that do and act and you would want yourself to do.
Soon enough, you'll find you've become that person you pictured in your mind.


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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2008, 12:05:32 PM »

To defend the "old crusty crone smokers"....because, the Lord willing, I will be one too some day....
They are doing something they enjoy, they've been doing it for many years and it has worked for them, and quite frankly, when you get to that age (and even at 33) it is hard to change ways you've been set in for 30 years. 

If you want to learn what they know, then you need to just listen.  I do a lot of that.  I have also found it isn't much good telling them how to do it or even what I do.  They don't really want to have the youngin's telling them they are doing it wrong when its worked for so many years (even if we don't think it works).  At that age...what's the point?  Been there, done that, have a way that works!  I can't count how many things my Dad told me not to do but I just had to try anyway and they didn't work just like he said.

There are lots of old guys at our local beek club, and they do like to talk, but I wouldn't bother telling them too much about the new stuff I'm trying.  It's taken me several years now to build up some good local contacts, and half of them are from the internet forums.

Some hobby-ists like to experiment.  Some just like to keep bees and get honey.  Trying to define what is what is too exclusive.  Perhaps there is a different club or perhaps you can start a new club or just get togather with some of the other folks you meet and think the same way.

Rick
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2008, 12:09:13 PM »

I suppose I am blessed to have a mentor who is the president of the beeking association. He loves talk and to share all of his info. Now, he is opinionated and may not always be right. I have found that every local beek I have talked to, like mechanics, believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. I find it interesting that in spite of this the other beek's bees do not immedialtely die due to the beek having a different method. Smiley

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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2008, 12:15:27 PM »

NWIN Beekeeper

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I understand your sentiments. I understand where Kathyp is coming from also. If there was an abundance of up and coming beekeepers I would completely agree with her. Her methods do work for one on one learning but they don't benefit the club membership. I think a middle ground works best but in this case I have been in your position and understand it.

What really gets me is when they won't share the knowledge but they are more than willing to say why that method is wrong when they have never tried it. I showed my permacomb when I first got it at one of the meetings. They heemed and hawed about how it wouldn't work. When I brought it back in a full super they hemmed and hawed about something else. It was nice schooling some old timers.

I choose VP because I did not have the time to dedicate to the position of president. Also I want to make some radical changes and I needed more members to side with me. I don't want to split the group. I want the old times to come aboard even if it is reluctantly. I don't think I will get everyone. I willtry to get as many as I can. Many of these members have been with the organization for many many years. I have to respect that. I just want to bring back some of the functions the group use to have.

I speak up. I rock the boat. I challenge the status quo. I make people think. And it's lots of fun.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2008, 12:37:11 PM »

I never implied that all old timers are old crusty crones, I'm referring to the ones that just refuse to share anything, because they have been doing it this way for 5o yrs, etc...Hey, I'll gladly listen, heck, I enjoy talking with old timers who like to share their experience and wisdom, and the ones that are most successful in my opinion are the ones that change with the times. You have to adapt, God knows beekeeping is about change and adapting to curve balls as Brendhan puts it.

Change or get stuck in the muck, JP
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2008, 01:09:42 PM »

My mentor has been keeping bees for 50 years commercialy and is very giving of info on bees and the bussiness so i find myself very lucky. I have seen first hand the tight lipped keepers and have no use for them.
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 01:42:37 PM »

there is another component to my experience with the old timers.  i am female.  since i have spent all of my life working in a male dominated environment, i have developed my own tactics for survival and eventual takeover smiley.  i follow up close and quiet.  i learn all i can.  i get the coffee and polish the boots. i do the work that no one else wants to do.  i don't take credit.  eventually, the opportunity to step up and lead presents itself and i am ready for it.  i am to "go to" person and no one knows that it happened.   evil

one thing i have learned that is the most important thing.....if you step up to be leader, you'd better be ready for it.  you get one chance to prove yourself.

Radar was my hero!
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2008, 02:55:41 PM »


I speak up. I rock the boat. I challenge the status quo. I make people think. And it's lots of fun.

Sincerely,
Brendhan


Now you do...but when you are 70/80?  Sure, you'll have to speak up, but that is because nobody can hear you over your squealing hearing aids.  You can rock the boat, but most likely it will be a flat-bottom tour boat that doesn't rock much.  And you have to be careful with that because they've tipped over before.  Status quo...isn't that the middle square on the bingo card?  Make people think what...that you've forgotten your dentures???

I'm going to be an ornery old cuss.  I know that because I'm only 33 and my wife already calls me that...

But if you dare ask the old me about bees...I'll ramble on for hours.  I know that because I'm only 33 and already do that.

I don't bother asking the older folks their stories anymore.  Most of the time they spend all that time telling me how to do stuff I already know how and know better.  And I know it is the best way because I got it off the Internet  rolleyes grin

Rick
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2008, 03:15:03 PM »



I'm going to be an ornery old cuss.  I know that because I'm only 33 and my wife already calls me that...
Rick


I am 40 and still going strong at it.
The difference will be instead of drinking frozen margaritas. I will be drinking sidecars.
And I will take my teeth out to do it.  cheesy

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2008, 10:20:40 PM »

I am 40 and still going strong at it.
The difference will be instead of drinking frozen margaritas. I will be drinking sidecars.
And I will take my teeth out to do it.  cheesy

Sincerely,
Brendhan


Brendhan, I might just have to frame that one...take my teeth out to do it. Now that's the spirit!!!!

LMAO, JP
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2008, 10:33:02 PM »

You know...I have often pondered the "failed mentor".  I was failed big time..a bunch of promises that never came through.  I came to the conclustion that no one owes me an explaination. Yes, it would have been nice but I might not have been in the position to understand the advice anyway. It seems that we all have had to go through the trial and error thing...even the crusty old timers. This is why, I suppose, there are so many ways to get to the same point.

Here in E. Texas, our "crusty" old timers are really nice! In fact, from what I have found, nicer and more willing to share their knowledge than the younger (50ish)"big deal" types. I have been pretty lucky in that regard- if I KNEW the right question, it would always be answered. As to the crusty part...they are, in fact, all pretty sauve looking!

I admit...I was, in the earlier days, very intimidated by all these smart guys and gals (all VERY nice people) in our local club, I tried to attend regularly but I found the meetings to be of little help to me. To much...yak yak about very esoteric things that were not important to me at that point- mostly by the same 3-4 people.  That is what became my issue...not ENOUGH mentors.  All these smart people who never speak up..just sit there, never encouraged by the "important" 3-4 people. I have kinda' quit going- but I have a plan of attack!

I have been, over the past few years...growing. Getting smarter, trusting myself, kicking myself...and failing in massive ways, and winning in smaller but more regular ways.  I have sunk my life savings into this. I now own the stuff that the "important" people would think makes me legitimate. By most standards in our local club...I would be considered as getting kind of big. Last time they saw me, I had about 10 hives and pretty much kept my mouth shut. Now I am to the 100 point and will continue to grow (and shrink each time I screw something up). When the day comes that I feel I can hold my own, I will be back.  To do what you ask?
 Be the best darn mentor anyone has ever seen.

 You know what else? I want those people who answered my questions (I KNOW they were sighing as they answered for the squillionth time) to maybe be proud of me! To know that they (one man in particular) has a small hand in my sucess (the failures were all my own, lol).

Then I am going to take that club by the tail and give it a good, hard shake. They need a bit of fresh blood and I intend to be it! No, I do not want to be the president of our club...I want to be the KING! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2008, 06:13:37 AM »

>Michael Bush once had on his website something that he use to expalin to his students.

Under "Information" under "Learning"

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslearning.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2008, 02:59:20 PM »

I have not personally come across tight lipped beeks. My conscern is club memebers who seem to have absolutely no other source of info, such as this forum. If the club doesn't send out a letter explaining winter feeding, they wouldn't know you coould do that . They have absolutely no intellectual pursuit, let alone actual experimenatation. If it works ,keep doing it. If it fails, do it again begining in the spring until it works. People always say I have a green thumb. If I plant it and it does well in a spot, I keep planting more. If it fails, Dont do it. Why fight mother nature. Understudy's motto KISS is right on.
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qa33010
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2008, 03:32:01 PM »

   Some of you may have heard this before...  My problem was that since I was seven I wanted to be a beekeeper (along with either flying or working on aircraft or working the railroad).  Problem was that of the dozen or so folks that had bees, none contacted me back.  My opinion became one of no worries, if they don't want to help me they can take a long walk.  I thought I'ld lost the desire since the last two beekeepers I met, or knew, I never asked for help on how to start up.  I only asked questions like, how it was going or how did the cutout go...  I saw one of them the other day, after six years, and he was surprised I started.  He said I could have come to him and he would have been glad to have helped me get started.  I responded with the above and he did admit he would probably done the same thing as the other beeks.  I have strived hard not to do this.  I always give my name and number out after talking to folks who seem to show a real interest in starting it up.  I don't sugar coat anything for them and have many change their minds on the spot.  I don't hold my breath for those that don't call and have two folks that have gotten their equipment and asking me for help.  Of course I try and steer them here and other sites as well as local clubs and Arkansas Apiary Law.  I tell them I'm a green rookie also and have few answers but between their and my brains we may succeed.  I encourage them to attend any courses offerred and loan books (that are returned) for them to use.


Sorry I started getting full of myself there embarassed

By the way the club meetings I go to all help and respect each others veiw points...even if they think the other is crazy for doing it that way grin 
They have been a great help and welcome kids with open arms.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2008, 12:39:02 AM »

I have read a lot of wise opinions on this thread.  I started beekeeping in 1959 guided by an mentor who started in 1899.  In the early years I went to club meetings with my mentor but quit going after his death at the age of 92.  I was only 17 then.  When I got back from SE Asia and returned to beekeeping I kept to myself until the recent death of my father.  It was then that I was suddenly confronted with what I had learned, its value, and the need to pass it on.  I became public, joined this forum and the local beekeepers association (only to find that there is now 6 clubs where there had been 1 back in the 60's) and I'm now mentoring my daughter.
I agree that even bad information is good if you learn something from it (This idea drives Finsky crazy).  If a person can't listen to all of the advice and be selective with what they use, they're not thinking. 

The most important thing is to share your knowledge, keeping it cooped up under your hat serves nothing, and by doing so it lives on and you've made an uncalculatable contribution.  Use new technologies to advantage, if everybody had refused to discover new truthes we'd still be in the stone age.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
mlewis48
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2008, 01:45:32 AM »

 I dont know if I should respond to this but I am one of the guys that was left in the cold by a so called mentor, and I cant attend any of the local club  meetings because of the shift that I work. None of the older gentlemen in the local club would change the routines to meet with me. The person that I got my first 3 hives from, gave me the old " If you need any help, just call or come back and I will help with anything". After the money exchanged hands, it was see you later and unless you are buying something, dont bother me.  That was my first big sting.
  If it was not for the massive stack of books, magazines, and of course, this group of people, I would have been up the creek without a paddle. In the area that I live in, there are not many beeks and the ones that you find  are pretty tight lipped about their methods of success. I dont understand why they are this way. I am not trying to take anything away from them. Just trying to absorb any information that I can. Lord knows that I am not in it for the money. When I look at all that I have spent to make my first year a success. What I did gain was the satisfaction of  looking back at one of the comments that I overheard one of them say," He'll never make it past Summer with the set up that he has." Well, I did. I went from 3 nucs to 9 full and healthy hives.
  I have hung out in the shadows, of this forum and a couple of others most of the year. Most of the time trying to get up the nerve to ask a question but to afraid to do so because I did not want to sound too stupid or to take one of Finsky's thrashing. But I did post and did not get treated like an idiot. If it was not for people, like you, I would have failed BIG TIME. And the people that I mentioned above would have had the satisfation of saying that I told you so.
  To close and not to get too deep into my rant, I am glad that there are people like you that are willing to share their knowledge. I am looking forward to the day when a young wipper snapper comes to me, asking for help. I will be more than willing to help, anyway that I can. Michael Bush, Understudy, Robo and all of the others that have answered my questions, no matter what. All that I can say is Thank You!
                                               Marcus
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2008, 08:18:37 AM »

I am amused by the comments about "old guys".
I listen to and read the advise of all, then use my own judgement as to what would will work for me.  Some of "my" best ideas come the 30 to 40 year old crowd, the Bushfarms site, my contacts with the local and state beekeepers assoc., and the University of Ga. Honeybee Program.  Mentors can come in many forms.
I consider this hobby to be about discovery and fun, it is surely that!
Please remember that not all "old guys" are old.

2nd year beekeeper,  age 67. Wink
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2008, 09:26:53 AM »

    I saw one of them the other day, after six years, and he was surprised I started.  He said I could have come to him and he would have been glad to have helped me get started.  I responded with the above and he did admit he would probably done the same thing as the other beeks.  I have strived hard not to do this.

This is interesting to me.  I have sooo many people that express interest in beekeeping, they'd like to see in the hive, like to see the extraction.  I have people say that they really want to get started in beekeeping.  So I always tell them that I'd love to show them but get back to me in the summer and we can get togather then and go through a hive, etc.  Nobody ever gets back to me.  Maybe they are just making conversation?

Late last summer the brother of a neighbor came over and we talked, and he was really excited about beekeeping and wants to start, but when I called him about taking a bee tree down togather (free bees for him!!), I never heard back.

I don't like to be too pushy with my hobby, so I wait for the second call, I want them to be interested before I start boring them.  I don't want to pester people.  Perhaps they are just waiting for me because they don't want to pester me. 

But that comment you made made me think about it....
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Rick
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2008, 01:43:27 PM »

    I saw one of them the other day, after six years, and he was surprised I started.  He said I could have come to him and he would have been glad to have helped me get started.  I responded with the above and he did admit he would probably done the same thing as the other beeks.  I have strived hard not to do this.

This is interesting to me.  I have sooo many people that express interest in beekeeping, they'd like to see in the hive, like to see the extraction.  I have people say that they really want to get started in beekeeping.  So I always tell them that I'd love to show them but get back to me in the summer and we can get togather then and go through a hive, etc.  Nobody ever gets back to me.  Maybe they are just making conversation?

Late last summer the brother of a neighbor came over and we talked, and he was really excited about beekeeping and wants to start, but when I called him about taking a bee tree down togather (free bees for him!!), I never heard back.

I don't like to be too pushy with my hobby, so I wait for the second call, I want them to be interested before I start boring them.  I don't want to pester people.  Perhaps they are just waiting for me because they don't want to pester me. 

But that comment you made made me think about it....

I think alot of people are in love with the idea of beekeeping, not actually with the work of beekeeping. People think Beekeeping is a romantic, wonderful occupation and that beekeepers are special people. This drives conversations about how they would LOVE to keep bees, but in reality, very few of us actually take the next step to put a hive in our yard. Actually doing the work or confronting a swarm is  intimidating to most people these days, especially when they can just buy a bag of sugar at the supermarket.
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