Ed Colby, CSBA president via mailchimpapp.net
Jul 18, 2019, 5:48 PM (15 hours ago)
Drama, Future Plans, and a poem
July 15, 2019
Greetings from your president!
I’m catching my breath, finally, after all the drama of the CSBA bee college in June. As soon as it was over, I had to haul bees to the Flat Tops. Then nine of my ten locations got on a wicked honey flow. My truck keeps breaking down. At least my mite numbers are generally low, so far. (That’s dangerous talk.) But I’ve been chasing my tail!
Putting on the bee college is like cramming for finals – full-tilt boogie, and then suddenly the long-awaited day arrives, and everything goes just fine. My hat’s off all the volunteers who pitched in to make this happen, and to everyone who made the trek to the Western Slope to have some fun and become a better beekeeper.
CSBA gave a lifetime service award to second-generation CSBA member and former CSBA president Paul Limbach, who for 50 years has given his heart to this club. This summer Paul gave his ever-popular bee disease demonstration and sat on a panel of beekeepers that answered questions about bees and beekeeping. For years, Paul and Nanci hosted the summer meeting. At lunch we’d sit in the shade at Nanci’s wildlife rehabilitation center and spit watermelon seeds as we talked bees.
Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on plans for the winter meeting Nov. 2 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock. Doctoral candidate Elizabeth Walsh from the Rangel Honey Bee Lab at Texas A&M will talk about queen rearing, Integrated Pest Management and her university research. When I inadvertently addressed Liz as “Dr. Walsh,” she corrected me and asked if -- because she doesn’t yet have her PhD. -- the speaking invitation was still open. I replied that CSBA likes to bring in up-and-coming speakers, before they get too famous. A little bird told me she’ll be a good one.
The same day, Nov. 2, Mario Padilla from the Butterfly Pavilion will share his adventures working bees in Nepal and Tanzania. Mario is a totally charming guy totally in love with bees. Look forward to this talk.
You can’t pre-register for the meeting yet. But I’ve got pre-registration on my agenda. So hang tight for the moment, OK?
Both your vice-president Tina and I are going to Apimondia, the international bee conference in September in Montreal. I know of other CSBA members attending as well. This promises to be total immersion in all things Apis. I figure, if you’re going to keep bees, you might as well go overboard.
You should come, too. Life is short. You’ll come back all fired up. Good for your soul.
This is a good time to know your Varroa mite numbers, so you can make informed mite management decisions. Now is when bee numbers peak and begin to decline, while Varroa populations continue to climb. You say your hives look great? Strong hives crash the hardest, so don’t be complacent. If you don’t know how to count mites, get some help. Hives that die in September and October from Varroa get robbed out by neighboring bees, and those mites don’t necessarily go down with the ship. They hitch rides to healthy hives on all those robbers. Don’t let this happen! Please be a responsible beekeeper!
Last but not least, we have for your amusement a poem by CSBA member Vance Hayes, who takes beekeeping seriously.
"Beezldo what Beezldo!"
Stated with a smile,
and a shrug of rueful resignation.
As surely as Dandy Lyons in the Spring.
So opines Jerry Webb
to my frantic, frustrated and mostly foolish
Thanks, Jerry, that’s sooo helpful!
See, I should have this,
after all I’ve been to Bee College.
And Bee Culture is consumed cover to cover.
And the Journal is a journey looked forward to each month,
(Delaplane is always First to be read.)
Oh, I’ve studied Collison – may his colonies increase!
for tirelessly breaking down Apis
to see what makes her tick.
I’ve come to believe she is so much more
than the sum of her parts, as they say.
And if Sammataro and Avitable say it’s so,
it must be so.
Oliver says it’s this way
and Flottum says it’s that way.
(I’ll bet his pages never get stuck together with Honey).
While Caron and Connor
cover all things Mellifera.
I drove to Durango
seeking Seeley’s insight.
I’ve listened to Conrad,
and been teased by Tew.
And when Paul Limbach speaks,
the room full of ‘Experts’ goes silent straining to hear,
hoping to benefit from his life with Bees.
But as I struggle to synthesize their scholarship,
the wisdom of Jerry’s 45 plus years in the Bee Yard
whispers a simple truth that wafts thru my mind like smoke thru my veil;
‘Beezldo what Beezldo!’
I sit in seminars, scribbling notes, sorting multiple answers to each question;
Subdue the swarm
Sugar the shallows?
And why does my nose itch only after veiling and gloving up?
Nader the deeps?
Well, I’ve breathed the Formic fumes,
and I’ve opened too many empty, silent deeps.
Absconding colonies don’t leave a clue, much a less a forwarding address.
And still, the organized chaos of the colony
drives my whys as I wrestle with the how’s.
But at the end of the day I marvel;
One mating – One thousand eggs a day.
Egg to adult – so many tasks.
How do they know how?
½ teaspoon of honey out of 6 weeks of life.
But pollinating so much of what sustains us, along the way.
Will my time count for nearly as much?
30 million years of endurance, survival, beauty and grace.
And I presume to be keeping them?
I’ll keep studying, but with humility and awe.
So here’s to the Jerry Webbs’
who smile, listen patiently,
answer dumb questions
and let me in on the Beekeeper’s Secret –
That after all is said and done,
‘Beezldo what Beezldo.’
Aloysius X Bondegas
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