Jeff Bergland, long-time TVBC president, reflects on his struggles in beekeeping under the old methods. "Heck, I remember my first swarm. The old fart that met me at the swarm wanted me to believe that the queen was up a duck's butt. Well, that was old style beekeeping. From now on, I'm sticking with small cell foundation and regressing my bees to where they will be mite resistant. No sense messing around with those codgers that go looking for queens up a duck's butt!"
Ken Sonnen says, "I'm thankful for our new paradigm in beekeeping. Up until today, I always thought that success in beekeeping was measured in gallons. I am now free of that mindset and am happy to see my bees surviving in the wild, as Loftus, Smith & Seeley have described (here)."
Melinda Jean Stafford is like totally embracing a new beekeeping style. "I've listened to the old farts, stuck in their ways that they picked up years ago. It's so old school. Heck, those people are reading my B&S blog and are learning from me, not the other way around. They just need to get out of the way and let us Natural, Organic, Non-GMO young Turks show them how it's done & call me a Biscuit, Honey!"
Joyce Gebhardt has had her share of disappointment with conventional beekeeping. She's developed a new attitude for this year now that she's seen the advantages to Natural Organic beekeeping. Joyce relates, "My mentor has tried to assure me that my journeys into the Trough of Disillusionment is a natural part of beekeeping. I don't know why I listen to that dimwit. Recently, I have been listening to Cletus, the Bee Whisperer. He knows everything! Cletus has been such a great help with all his knowledge about Natural Organic Non-GMO beekeeping. In no time he's telling me that my bees will be doing as well as my neighbor's across the way. I can hardly wait to be seeing all my bees outside the hive, naturally doing what they will do, once this Natural Organic, non-GMO regime is implemented.
Frank Grover is a changed man. "Dang! Just a little while ago, I got a new earring, I been down to the almonds in California and I've seen how to keep bees. Not how they do it in the Almonds, but more like they do it in California, around Berkeley and Weed. The bees need to be free to be Natural and Organic. Think of it as "Free Range Bees." That's what I'll be doing anymore. Enough working bees. Let them work themselves!"
Joe Leckie has a new take on the opportunity brought on by Biodynamic Beekeeping. Joe says, "The problem with beekeeping in the Valley is that it just isn't 'Natural' anymore. We need legislation that requires 'Natural, Organic Beekeeping.' We don't make a lot of honey per hive around here, so if the commercial beekeepers were regulated, we small beekeepers would see a significant rise in our honey crops. We can still accommodate the commercial beekeeper - we will legislatively create commercial bee holding zones. We can have one on a barge in Lake Coeur d'Alene, one yard over on the Utah border, near Bear Lake and one in the Owyhees, right near McDermmet."
Karla Kimball has jumped on the bandwagon full throttle. Says she: "We gotta get this Natural, Organic, Non-GMO thing implemented right now. We need all the beekeepers that are relying on Big Pharma to get outta the way - we got things to get done. I don't need some big ol' Galoot nagging me about mites and whatever the heck else he's babbling about. I'm going NATURAL this year with a vengeance! Dang, just last week I won big in the lottery and that just proves I don't need to use miticides to keep my bees healthy. I'm naturally lucky and my queens are bound to be the ones that raise miteless bees!"
Brian McCreath swears by the Natural, Organic method: "Damn! Everything these chumps been teaching me about bees and beekeeping turns out to be mere dwaddle. The guy at work that I consult with spends his entire day looking up info about Biodynamics and studying the teachings of Brother Steiner. Together, we expect to be able to quit our day jobs, sell our homes, invest all our savings and end up with a small fortune after only a year of Natural Beekeeping!"
Dick Knapp, a long-time, secret Natural, Organic Beekeeper is convinced that success is found in the science of Biodynamics. I've been studying Dea Luzby's Natural Small cell operation down in Arizona. If we could just import some of her natural queens from that area, we could revolutionize beekeeping here in the Treasure Valley. We would have natural small-sized bees that would never experiencing a mite problem again. Dea's bees naturally swarm, and are known to be quite aggressive - presumably toward mites - so they should do well here. I'll be heading down there this spring to bring some stock back so we can graft hundreds of those queens for the Treasure Valley."
Don Larson has seen all sorts of problems with Old Fashioned Beekeeping. "Warre Hives, "The Peoples' Hives," are the only way to keep bees. Regressing the bees back to a 4.2 cell is probably possible. Think of it as running a mile in under 4-minutes. If we could get the bees to under 4.0 - say 3.8 or 3.9 - we would have smaller insects that just might be so small that a mite couldn't attach to a grown bee."
Kebin Duesman is convinced that Natural, Organic, Non-GMO beekeeping is the way to go. He's saying, "The more Natural, Organic, non-GMO beekeepers we have the better. Since the Biodynamic craze has hit the Treasure Valley over the last couple of years, my nuc sales have skyrocketed. Bring on the Natural Beekeepers - it's great for business.