In a previous blog, we shared statements from a few BIP Board members conveying how the Bee Informed Partnership has changed the world of beekeeping and how it has personally effected either their research or their operations. Today, George Hansen, a well-known and respected Oregon commercial beekeeper and a BIP Board member tells the story of how he came to beekeeping. If you were not born with a hive tool in your hand and, like many of us, stumbled on the beekeeping path by happy accident, I think you will recognize many aspects of his humorous anecdote.
George, why don’t you take it from here?
I started my beekeeping journey as a naïf, with no experience, no family history, and no previous beekeeping employment to guide me. Early on, old timer mentors and bee club activities made up the bulk of my education in beekeeping. The information stream was inconsistent and often uninformed. It became clear that beekeepers are good story tellers, bad scientists, and often unabashed liars. While that makes for lively and entertaining get togethers, not much problem solving occurred for me.
We have all slogged forward, and probably if it were not for varroa and viruses, success in beekeeping might have been measured largely by the entertainment value of the stories and lies we tell each other. The Bee Informed Partnership cut all the BS. Actual sampling for pest and disease levels, and data driven beekeeping advice has given the industry a real way forward. Even so, there is no noticeable cessation of storytelling and lying.
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