At 66 years of age, I’ve spent most of my life around our friends, the honeybees.  Whether you’re curious about bees, afraid of them or love them, they are an important facet to our existence.  Honeybees pollinate many crops and as such, are responsible for about one-third of the food we eat.  I grew up on a farm, where bees were essential for producing our crops so I learned to respect them at a very early age.

While I’ve always understood the essential service bees provide, many years passed before I came to realize the many life lessons I’ve learned from observing them.  I’ll be sharing some of the interesting lessons I’ve learned as this blog grows.  Much of the insight I’ve found in keeping bees, I owe to Dr. Richard Taylor, now deceased, but once a great American philosopher, teacher, beekeeper and example of a true man of peace.  Most of all, a man I proudly called “friend.”  I met Richard quite by chance, through correspondence about a magazine article he had written.  Richard was a prolific writer and columnist for “Bee Culture” magazine.  Likewise, he wrote many books both on the topics of beekeeping and philosophy.  Richard taught me that these subjects went hand in hand.  Thanks to Richard’s encouragement and efforts, I have also written many bee related magazine articles.

At this stage of my life, I’m retired and have more time to spend actually learning more about the bees.  I’ve been without bees for a few years and finally, the time has come again to start with two colonies of bees…at least for now.  I’m interested in the aspects of organic beekeeping, avoiding chemicals in pest and disease control, whenever possible.  I’m experimenting and observing, using several different methods which I will share in this blog.  For now, I’m going to be using mechanical traps for Varroa mites and Small Hive Beetles, as well as using essential oils…Spearmint and Lemon Grass oil.

About twenty years ago, I found myself in need of more peace and tranquility in my life.  I discovered Zen meditation, but I don’t like “brands.”  Therefore, I prefer the word, “spiritual” and in that quest to develop more inner peace, the bees were there to teach many lessons.  Working with bees requires patience, calm attitude, focus and determination.  Lessons I learned from Zen…lessons I continually need to practice….and lessons I forget and the bees quickly remind me to return to where I should be.

I hope I am able to share some of my experiences, lessons I’ve learned, travels down the path of natural pest control and stimulate your interest in our tiny but essential friends in the natural world.

– Stan

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