10 favorite posts about beekeepers (not normal people)

I love my honey bees and I’m intrigued by their enormous intelligence. Beekeepers are equally fascinating, although for different reasons. When it comes to quirky friends and strange lifestyles, beekeepers take the cake. Here are ten of my favorite posts about beekeepers and their litany of worries.

Inside: Honey bees provide endless hours of entertainment, but so do beekeepers. Here are 10 of my favorite posts about beekeepers and the things they do.

To be a beekeeper, you must share your personal space with bugs and you must be willing to get stung—sometimes repeatedly. In addition, you need to okay with looking bad, smelling bad, and being contantly sticky.

You will have moments when you roast in your bee suit—or freeze in it—and days when you feel overcome by the scent of alarm pheromone or the crushing weight of a honey super.

There will be days when you act and feel clumsy and days when parts of your anatomy are red, swollen, and itchy. There will be days when your friends run from you or refuse to sit near you, even if you’re buying lunch.

You will have days of sadness, and days of extreme joy, all caused by insects. Most people will never understand your bond with something so cantankerous as a honey bee, let alone thousands of them.

Sometimes I wonder what keeps me writing posts after all these years, but I realize it’s only partly the bees. The rest is due to the thousands of beekeepers who have shared the ups and downs, and the failures and triumphs of their beekeeping days. To you, I owe thanks for many happy and instructive moments.

I hope you enjoy these posts about beekeepers, even if they’re not normal people.

Honey Bee Suite

Beekeeping mistakes are often caused by making assumptions.

17 costly beekeeping mistakes and how to avoid them

New beekeepers have a lot to learn in a short time. When you become confused or unsure, try to relax and evaluate your next steps. If you consider how your actions will affect your bees, you will avoid the biggest mistakes.

Once I remembered why I kept bees and decided beekeeping was not a competitive sport, I was able to shrink the apiary.

To become the best beekeeper, learn it’s not a competitive sport

Once I remembered why I kept bees and decided beekeeping was not a competitive sport, I was able to shrink the apiary.

A beekeeper asks, “When do I quit?”

Beekeeping can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. If you don’t enjoy it, perhaps it’s time to quit. You must follow your heart and not listen to bad advice.

Beekeepers and the Dunning-Kruger Effect: Unskilled and Unaware

New beekeepers learn so much so fast, their self-confidence outpaces their true knowledge. The Dunning-Kruger Effect explains how that happens.

Ecoterrorists who believe imported honey bees are damaging native bee populations sometimes target beekeepers.

Once folk heroes, some beekeepers are targeted by ecoterrorists

Like most environmental problems, the question of how honey bees compete with native bees is complex. To answer the threats, you need to understand how bee competition works.

Tippy-hives. -Pixabay

Not every new beekeeper needs a mentor: compatibility is key

Mentoring is teaching, and not everyone is good at it. Sometimes, having no mentor at all is better than having the wrong one.


Weird reasons I don’t like beekeeping all that much

Like becoming a neurotic novelist, the idea of becoming a beekeeper has a lot of romantic charm. But the day-to-day reality is rife with drudgery and boring tasks that aren’t much fun.

Ten beekeeping crimes you should not commit

Beekeeping crimes include skipped steps, missed opportunities, or assumptions about honey bees, beekeeping, or the environment we live in.

Don’t think, just do: a beekeeper’s answer to pointless worry

Every beekeeper goes through moments of pure terror or pointless anxiety. It helps to concentrate on the job you need to do without overthinking it. “Don’t think, just do” is my mantra when anxiety tries to take over.

Some "old" beekeepers don't seem to realize times have changed. This is not your grandfather's world.

A personal note to cranky old beekeepers

“Old” has nothing to do with age but everything to do with attitude.

About Me

My love of bee science is backed by a bachelor’s degree in Agronomic Crops and a master’s in Environmental Studies. I have written extensively about bees, including a current column in American Bee Journal and past columns in Two Million Blossoms and Bee Craft. In recent years, I’ve taken multiple courses in melittology and made extensive identifications of North American bees for iNaturalist. My master beekeeping certificate issued from U Montana. More here.

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