When Does An Interest in Bees Become An Obsession ??

by: Marlene email


In my last post on  the life  QUACK  !  ( gotta watch the video)  of  bees,  I had just finished plowing through the first  five pages of  Amazon. com’s  589  results for  the search term “beekeeper” .  Then my husband  said “Well, what about royal jelly ?   And don’t some people use bee pollen products ? 

 In fact, isn’t  your chap stick made by the Burt’s Bees company ?”  Well, yes, I seldom wear lipstick but I do use Burt’s Bees chap stick  and have for years,  despite my Scottish heritage inclination to frown on the price tag of $2.99  for a tiny tube of the stuff.  But you should know that it isn’t just  any old chap stick,  it’s  “Beeswax Lip Balm: Soothing, Cooling, Refreshing”.  The cooling part is what I love about it,  your lips just sort of tingle after you put it on, as if tiny bee wings were sending cool wafts of air towards them…. those  bees of  Berts’ specialize in lip cooling .

And then yesterday an article on  www.ScienceDaily.com    caught my eye, entitled “Honey Bee Venom May Help Design New Treatments to Alleviate Muscular Dystrophy, Depression and Dementia.”  The gist of  the article is that apamin, a toxic protein discovered  in bee venom,  is helping  researchers to develop a new type of channel blocker that could imitate apamin and thus help design new drugs to treat  these very serious medical conditions.  Together with  the development reported earlier of  “medical grade honey” to keep open wounds from becoming infected, it’s clear  that the honeybee is a truly unique insect. 

But I am wondering if all this bee stuff is becoming an obsession.   Don’t think so,  but if it were an obsession does that mean I would have to actually get some bees and become an apiarist ?   Does any of  this new found knowledge about the wonderessness  (is there such a word ?)  of  honeybees help me decide whether or not to launch myself into the world of actual, boots on the ground, beekeeping ?   Or is it enough to just be interested in bees ?   Maybe plant a few more nectar rich plants to help them along in this cruel, cruel  world filled with  pesticides everywhere they look  ?  It would, of course,  be nice to have ones very own (homemade ?  homegrown ?  home-hived ?)   Royal jelly.  And HUNY is great, especially on  cornbread with lots of butter,  hot from the oven, more southern fried chicken and lima beans, please.   Still thinking about it– worried  being stung,  the dogs won’t like that  either.  And then there’s all the extra responsibility– keeping the temperatures correct  in the bee box,  trying to keep them from getting bee mites, making sure they have adequate water nearby,  trying to get them back when the Queen Bee gets  naughty and everybody swarms  away, actually extracting the honey, etc., etc., etc.   Definitely a hands-on hobby. I probably won’t look that great in the funny safari hat with the cheesecloth, or whatever,  hanging  down, trying to get the smoker to keep on smoking to keep those critters calm.   So,  still thinking about it,  still planning  to attend another meeting of  the Eastern Shore Beekeeper’s Guild  but still keeping  plenty of HUNY  from the Farmer’s Market in my pantry and planning to research “royal jelly”  made by others when I have a little more time.

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