Guestpost #45: Stephanie Harper – Ten things I’ve learned from being a beekeeper

Bio: Stephanie Harper is a 38 year old medical laboratory technology student about to graduate and become a person with a paycheque. Before that, she was a beekeeper with a home business selling honey, natural cosmetics and beeswax candles. She is a mother, a freelance writer, a city-born-country-dweller and a student of the universe.

  1. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for the whole hive, not just for yourself.
  2. Quite often, getting stung feels like getting whacked with a hammer.
  3. Do you remember the Mork & Mindy episode where Mork took some medication that made him shrink and he ended up in a tiny microworld inside the tablecloth fibres where there was a whole functioning society existing parallel to the world we know? That’s what it’s like when you open a beehive for the first time and realize that, inside, there is a highly successful society complete with a social hierarchy, food stores, and a mind-bogglingly effective workforce carrying out jobs delegated based on physiological development and the needs of the hive.
  4. The value of pollination to our food production each year is extremely significant.  Three-quarters of the world’s crops depend on insect pollinators. The contribution of pollination to the planet’s food production amounts to $217 billion US. Those stories about the bees disappearing? They’re a big deal.
  5. You can’t control nature. You need to be the one to conform, not the other way around. Even when you manipulate nature to do what you want, you can only be successful at it if you’re following her rules. Be firm, however. Respect yourself as a part of nature, not as an outsider. Once you realize this, you’ll get stung a lot less and make more honey.
  6. As humans, we value independence, creativity and individuality, but we also need to acknowledge, and truly see, the interconnectedness between all things.
  7. It’s best to move fluidly when around bees. Move like water; flow and be calm. Do not flail and run. It makes you a target and bees can outrun you.
  8. Bees know what to do. Just let them do it.
  9. Songbirds become a lot less attractive when you’re watching them pick off your bees on their way back to the hive.
  10. If you think you have a lot to do and a lot of people depending on you, looking inside a hive can be humbling reality check.

3 Comments

Filed under tenthingsivelearned, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Guestpost #45: Stephanie Harper – Ten things I’ve learned from being a beekeeper

  1. So she’s not the secret alter-ego of our PM?

  2. Ray

    That was a really good read very interesting and full of information. I especially liked the piece about the opening of the hive to see how busy they actually are. How would you like to have to work as hard as them. Bees are truly inspirational when you think about it.

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