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Author Topic: Promoting Beekeeping  (Read 5182 times)
Brian D. Bray
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« on: March 12, 2008, 12:19:03 AM »

Over the last few weeks I've had several people tell me that they have always been interested in bees and thought about becoming a beekeeper.  I quickly offer to give them free lessons using my bees.  I have yet to get a taker.

One was a school teacher, she has an after school program that 2 of my granddaughters attend. 
The one today was the service manager at the Ford Dealership when I took my truck in to have the fix for the recall that was supposed to have fixed the 1st recall. 

I supposedly have a neice who wants to learn beekeeping (according to my brother) but have yet to hear from her, she also doesn't need bees as we can use mine. 

So far the only one to take up my offer is my oldest daughter (she's getting her first package next month) and she, too, is learning on my bees. 

What am I doing wrong?  I'm offering to be their mentor, offering to teach them at my place with my bees, and they don't have to spend a dime until they decide if beekeeping is really their thing or not.

Am I making it too easy?

What have you guys (and gals) done to promote beekeeping?
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 12:49:18 AM »

maybe there is some lag time between the idea and the action.  i wanted to keep bees for years, but things kept getting in the way.  some people need  to chew on an idea and figure out how to work it into their lives.
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 01:22:02 AM »

Brian,

Even though I dont have my bees until the end of April I try to let everyone know what I am going to do. I have been trying to get other people interested so maybe we could start a clud in SE Colorado. SO far I think I have two people interested. I told them if they wanted to just buy a suit and they can help me out, of cource Ill let them have some honey. The one guy was more interested in the wax to make candles.
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DaveKow
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 03:55:26 AM »

I am having the opposite problem.  I want to learn, but don't have anyone close enough to teach me.  I thank God for all of you who take time out to answer questions.  I feel that this forum allows me to have many mentors from all over the world.  It is kinda cool that the ancient craft of beekeeping meets the 21st century internet.  I would like to thank all those that make this possible.

I think it is a special thing that beekeepers do.  I believe, as someone else posted on here, that beekeepers are chosen.  Unfortunately, it seems to be a chose few.
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 06:49:19 AM »

I am having the opposite problem.  I want to learn, but don't have anyone close enough to teach me. 

Dave!
Have you tried to connect with other local beeks? You're in Brookville, right? According to MapQuest, that puts you very close to the Trumbull County Beekeepers:
http://www.trumbullcountybeekeepers.org/Home.html

We also just had a new member, darcher, from Warren, Ohio introduce himself in the "Greetings" forum (March 3). Maybe you two newbees could link up.
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SteveSC
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 07:05:21 AM »

"What am I doing wrong?  I'm offering to be their mentor, offering to teach them at my place with my bees, and they don't have to spend a dime until they decide if beekeeping is really their thing or not."

Believe me Brian you aren't doing anything wrong.  Most people are basically lazy and would rather you do the work and let them benefit from it.  I'm a General Contractor - people I know ask me all the time about how to build this and that.  I tell them I'd be happy to help them do whatever they need - they don't want that. After a while they get around to what they really want. They want me to do it and do it free or for nearly nothing. That's the way people are now a days...I don't get it either.

No, you aren't doing a thing wrong.  Maybe if you gave them all the supplies - setup a couple hives on their property and went over to work them they'd appreciate more or be willing to listen\learn....?  I doubt it.   Most people are just too busy trying to do other things and if we're already keeping the bees that's just fine with them......fine with me also. They're just curious I guess.

Sorry about the soapbox but people just like you described are one of my pet peeves...   
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 07:20:51 AM »

I see fifty people or so show up to the beginner beekeeping class field day in April.  I see maybe one or two of them show up to any beekeeping meetings after that.  I wish I knew what we could do better for follow through to keep them interested.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 07:52:32 AM »

I don't think it's you Brian. I find most people are just want to bees at anything and really never follow through with anything. One week they want to keep bees the next week it's something else.  Also, as said a lot of people are lazy and find out there is more to it than just throwing them in a box and watching them make honey and then dont want anything to do with it. Some people find out the cost of bees and equipment and run the other way. You ever get that odd look and then the question " you mean you gotta buy bees ? ". Look at what MB says about how many show up and how many follow through. There are more than one factor but one of them is not you.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 08:50:31 AM »

Quote
What have you guys (and gals) done to promote beekeeping?

Typically people think I'm nuts messing with bees but also become very interested when we start talking about it.  I have one friend who is going to be learning on my bees this year.  I told him I would give him a split to work and even though the hive will be mine, anything he gets from it will be his.  I am going to give him the hive at the end of the season, but he doesn't know that.  Anyway, he has become very interested in this and would like to work with me down the road when I have a lot more hives (800+).

I am not sure what got him interested.  He doesn't seem to be the bee person.  Maybe it is because he sees me having success with it and other than buying a beesuit and a veil, there's really no risk on his part.

I like to think that promoting beekeeping is not just taking someone down to the hives to work them, but also talking about things like getting people to understand the importance of bees in our lives, perhaps how they live, etc.  Even if you talk to a person only one time, that can leave an impression.  One question that is asked to me the most is "What do the bees do during the winter?".  I can easily have an hour long conversation with someone who asks that because they just ask more and more questions.  It's fun.

I don't know if that is much of an answer...
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 08:54:45 AM »

We are an urban county here in Hamilton and thus 4-H has been dismal over the past decade.  Someone took over the program about 13 months ago and has been selling it big time.  I was at the last open house to see if I can offer my farm and its gardens to the Junior Master Gardener program of theirs and Bees came up.  They had four parents asking about it for their kids.

My wife and I are adopting this year (fingers crossed) and I think it would be appropriate to start get involved in some children activities with our farm.  I am not getting any younger and she thinks its a good idea even if our child isn't going to be able to participate for several years...so...

Depending on how this year goes I think I am going to mentor a 4-H Bee Keeping Club in 2009.
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Richard Stewart
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 09:08:41 AM »

I think for a person to become a Beekeeper and to keep bees you have to out of agreement with most of the people in the enviroment.There are so many other things to do.I think the world is become a bunch of Spectators they just want to watch.
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 09:46:12 AM »

I think that NOW our big issue is the negative publicity we here in the press over CCD - to the uninformed, bees are likely carriers of unknow disease and parasites. It isn't bad enough that we suffer normal losses, but any loss to the uniformed is a CCD issue today.

This same thing has happened to HAM RADIO over the decades it has become a nearly dying art. The numbers of hams have dropped so dramatically that reducing minimal entry requirements have changed over many years and still it doesn't help.

I often wonder who is the dying breed (if indeed their is one) the honeybees or the beekeepers. I hope there is a turn around, recruiting newcomers isn't easy as you all point out, the only hope may be to keep it a generational family hobby/business until somehow our beloved beekeeping again gets the positive press it needs - fingers crossed on that one.

A final note: a local radio station is offering $300 to anyone willing to take up beekeeping to help get bees back here in the Garden State (a highly over rated name for this state - it has been 100 years since NJ had anything to do about gardening/food production) we are now a bedroom society trafficing between NY and PA. But this $300 is a nice effort, and although I cannot find any info on their website, here it is - it might be worth a call to some of you.

www.k985radio.com - they have a "Kontact" page (sic) that at least gives phone numbers and addresses. I just heard about this last night, so I don't know about any rules that they specify, but it may well worth be checking into.
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 10:03:58 AM »


What have you guys (and gals) done to promote beekeeping?

The end of April I am offering a group of homeschoolers a 4 hour class on honeybees in general.  This doesn't include how to be a beekeeper, but rather the basic lifecycle of honeybees and what they need to live.  I will also include a light area of disease and honeybee pests.
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2008, 10:38:48 AM »

CHF, you'll love doing 4H.  seeing the kids get interested in something and learn is very rewarding.  you'll hate the parents, but you just have to remember that you are doing it for the kids.  smiley
getting kids interested in beekeeping is probably key to the future.  adults get so bogged down in daily life, or are such slaves to their fears, that they don't do it. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2008, 11:46:35 AM »

Brian I feel your pain. I am heavily involved in recruiting people to join our club(just ask anyone on this forum from NJ!). I was also interviewed by the press last week b/c NJ is giving 50 people an education, bees and equipment too. Response has been amazing. The class filled up in two days. I have also filled my calander w/ numerous speaking engagments for kids to get the word out. A local Friends school is considering having an apiary. I offered to donate ny own hives to get it started as well. I have contacted five seperate municipalities inviting myself to offer a free lecture about bees. My suggestion is do what you have always done in life, just keep doing. It will spark an interest in someone and you will contribute more to beekeeping. I have seven appointments w/ people who have equipment, but no bees. I am making arrangements through club to get them bees. Thats seven new people this month. If you think your niece is serious, just bring a nuc over one day. If she is meant to be a beek, she see the bees doing bee stuff and she'll bee hooked(pun intended). Contact a local
girl or boy scouts an offer a visit to your apiary. Thats how I got my first group over to the house.

I have a motto I end every "bee speach" with...Save the honeybee-save the world
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2008, 12:24:01 PM »

Brian I wish you lived closer to me!  I would love to absorb even a smidge of your knowledge!  It did take years to actually "get" bees.  I've loved em as long as I can remember but life got in the way. A couple of months ago I met a couple at my referral group that had bees & it lit a fire under my butt, the time was right I guess.  My daughter (20) is sooo excited.  She has been exposed to everything I know about animals, bugs, nature in general, since birth. She knows that every blink, twitch & movement means something, is very good at "reading" animals (including the human variety).  I can't count the times I've come running in the house saying "Lets go now" & taken her to see somehting I saw walking, riding or driving.  So many people are not aware of  whats going on around them which can be dangerous in this day & age..but thats another topic!!  So it's not you Brian, soon someone will come into your life that is willing to work & learn & may teach you something as well! Smiley Have a wonderful day.

Jody
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2008, 01:40:10 PM »

I would have accepted your offer in a heartbeat Brian!!  My son just missed out on an opportunity for teenagers because we found out too late about it.  He can take the course next year if we haven't already gotten on hives started.  I haven't found a class for old people like myself and my husband yet. Keep it up and you never know who might accept in the future.
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2008, 01:46:49 PM »

I'm just starting with bees and I have to admit I fall into that category of "showing up to a few meetings then falling off the face of the planet". I've been to two beekeeping association meetings and one picnic. Its still very interesting to me and on a daily basis I look at these forums and try to find interesting videos. The person who helped me get started, I call my mentor, altough I've only been to his beeyard ONCE. Basically he showed me his hives and talked about general beekeeping stuff...it was fun to get in a beejacket/viel and really get a look at what it was like working the bees. We went inside and looked at some catalogs and I asked some basic questions and that was pretty much it. Over a year ago easily since I did that.

I've been waiting for him to call me back saying that he needed help harvesting the honey and working the hives again; but maybe I need to take that initive myself.

The biggest problem with me is I don't have any friends or family members that share my interest..and I'm easily the youngest adult at the gatherings I goto, makes me a little uncomfortable. I'm still interested and I still can't wait to get my first bees (over a year of anticipation makes me alittle crazy!).

.so in a sense I think my mentor and the beekeepers I met succeeded with their influence on me, even tho I don't participate much in the community. Get the newbies in the yard one way or another..thats what did it for me.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2008, 02:01:09 PM »

Off topic...

I see you are from Western PA, SystemShark.  What part?  I grew up in Johnstown but live in the central part of PA now (Danville).

And now back to our normally scheduled programming...
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2008, 02:17:39 PM »

Off topic...

I see you are from Western PA, SystemShark.  What part?  I grew up in Johnstown but live in the central part of PA now (Danville).

And now back to our normally scheduled programming...

Close to Pittsburgh. I joined with the Beaver Valley Beekeep Association. When I do get my bees I'll probobly end up eastward; twords Greensburgh or north twords Butler tho.
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