Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm Scared to Keep Bees

I confess I'm scared. I'm scared to keep bees.

Here I am in February (2009) and I caught myself procrastinating on finalizing my plans to start keeping honey bees this spring.

I have two hive boxes that I bought last year and I've put them together and painted them.
I have two hats and veils and a pair of coveralls. I have a couple hive tools and a bee brush.

But I haven't ordered my foundation yet and I haven't put my frames together. That was supposed to be my winter project. And winter is nearly over. At least according to the groundhog Willie from Wiarton who saw his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. For a procrastinator, that's not a lot of time until spring.

So, I'm delaying my plans. I don't even have a place to keep my hives yet. I should be calling farmers or neighbours and friends that have large lots of land to make arrangements for a place to put these hives. Instead, I'm keeping to myself.

I asked myself why? And the answer worried me.
I'm afraid.

What I'm not afraid of is the bees themselves or bee stings--that's really the last of my worries. You might think that would be what would make me hold off and procrastinate, but no, that's not it.
Neither did the T-shirt I saw at the annual beekeepers' convention in Niagara Falls throw me off. It said on the back, "I'm a beekeeper. If you see me running, you should run too." I just laugh every time I think of that t-shirt.

But I'm still scared. What am I afraid of?

I realized that I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid the bees won't make it. And if they don't make it, then I'll have to deal with all the reasons why and my own feelings of failure to help them be successful. And there's lots of reasons these days why bees may not make it. My success is absolutely not a guaranteed thing.

I remind myself of my purpose in beekeeping so that I could learn about the bees, hopefully help them and if all goes really well, I'd have some honey and wax. I remind myself that pass or fail, the saying "this too shall pass" applies. Over time, the bees will succeed--or not. Their genetics will change over time--or not--and those that are fittest will hopefully survive to carry on. I don't particularly like nature's policy on this and am wont to interfere.

In the mean time, I'll face this fear as best I can--head on. I'll use what I call the elephant approach. Ask yourself, what's the easiest way to eat an elephant? They're pretty big after all. The answer - one bite at a time.

And I'll remind myself that I'm most definately not in this alone. There's a sea of beekeepers at the meetings each month and they are generously eager to share their wisdom.

I will perservere. Succeed or fail, the bees and I are in this together.
Post a Comment