Are you a bee keeper or a bee haver? This was the query posed by beekeeper Diana Sylvestre at Annie’s Annuals yesterday. If one wishes and opts for being a bee haver the prospect of keeping bees sounded far less high maintenance than I would have suspected. Diana is certainly a beekeeper but it’s not all about the honey for her. She maintains rooftop hives in Oakland as well as hives in Glen Ellen all around her day job. Naturally there were a number of questions regarding colony collapse and mites. I just read about a study conducted in India which suggests that a factor in colony collapse might be environmental “electropollution” which translates to the cell phones we all cannot live without despite having done so for years. She also mentioned, which got a laugh that once she was asked to confirm that the variable hues of honey was due to bee poop. Probably just the thought would horrify a bee. Bees are fascinating, ordered and very clean creatures. If only my life were that organized! I’m presently working on getting set up for my girls (the pullets) but who knows? Maybe next Spring there could be a couple of hives on my roof.
As a side note, Annie’s Annuals plant signage which always contains the perfect amount of information has a new addition. When you walk through the nursery look for the little bee stickers. They mean you have found an addition to your garden that will most likely be very attractive to honeybees and native bee species.