I have been in sales most of my adult life. I have sold some really innovative products, and I've been asked to represent some products that were.. shall we say.. less than innovative. I have now placed myself squarely into the arena of "selling" the concept of raising Honeybees. Can you imagine (the late) Billy Mays pitching this product? "That's right, you too can have a wooden box full of 30,000 stinging insects right in your back yard!" Who would even consider this? Well, I would, and did.
So why do people get drawn into this hobby? The
honey? No. Any one of us can easily purchase good local honey within our
communities. The passion for these small creatures springs from somewhere
inside of our hearts and minds. I firmly believe that despite what we see on
TV, the majority of people we encounter in this world are good and decent
people who simply want to live their lives in peace. I also believe that a vast
majority of these people would like to feel that they can make a difference in
this life. It is from this desire that this hobby arises.
For those who are yet to indulge this hobby I can honestly tell you that you will be surprised how attached you become to your "girls". They don't come running to you when you get home, and they don't curl up on your lap making a soft purring noise. They busily go about their instinctive tasks, never resting and never sleeping. They work as a community never questioning who is doing their "fair share" of the work. Every one of them working to their maximum capacity for the greater good of the world in which they live, no complaining, no whining, no gossiping or pointing fingers. maybe it is this total commitment to one another and the survival of the colony that connects us to them. Quite possibly it is our desire to actually see this level of dedication in action - even among insects - that pulls us in.
The question is - why do I Raise Honey bees? It is not for the honey, not remotely. It is for the feelings I get when visiting their hives and marveling at the progress they've made. The sense of awe I feel when I sit quietly by the hive entrance and watch them coming and going, delivering the large clumps of pollen, and or the stored nectar. It is, indeed, the chance to witness the total dedication to their "family" and to the work that needs to be done. There is a sense of release from the struggles we find ourselves in daily that draws me to the hives. There is a feeling that amidst the present decline in their numbers, and the struggles they face to survive, that I can provide for them protection and a chance to survive.