Story from the MyFoodStory:

Beekeeping is a noble occupation that enriches both physically and mentally and in the same time it is very important part of food production system. Bees are pollinating one third of our food crops. Albert Einstein speculated that "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left." Today modern beekeeping is industrialized and in my opinion shows big signs of stress. Trucking bees across continent in order to fulfill growing need for crop pollination, parasitic varroa mite which has traveled from far away Java island because of migratory beekeeping and has since '80 spread trough the whole world, bacterial and viral diseases, economical destruction of beekeepers because of importing of low quality and often contaminated honey (made probably with slave labor) from China, there are many problems today for us beekeepers. But on the other side not everything is so dark. Pure enjoyment of working in the nature which such beings whose are considered as sacred begins in many traditions, enjoyment in the smell of a freshly opened beehive, hard earned honey which is truly a food of goods along with other incredible products of a healthy beehive, wax,pollen,royal jelly,propolis and even bee venom, is highly priced. All in all a beehive is a spring of health and youth. At least it was until 2-3 decades when the real problems of over stressing bees with artificial feed (sugar) pesticides against mites,and too intense robbing of bees work has occurred. This year we have a some weird things happening to bees colonies in USA ,it is called CCD - colony collapse disorder, it means that nobody is knowing what is happening, the bee's are simply gone from beehives and the hives were found empty. But there is some kind of improvement , the organic beekeeping movement is gaining strength, it is a radical movement which does not allows using any kind of treatment of our bees ,it seeks way back to natural beekeeping, to find again the strength inherent in bees which have survived for so many thousands of years. For me personally, my goal is to achieve independence with my small beekeeping endeavor. I am trying to start small and grow with time and eventually one day maybe make my living from beekeeping only. If I don t achieve that ,I am pretty sure that my love for beekeeping will follow me through my whole life. When you are once hocked to smell and buzz of bees it is hard to forget their magic. To be a beekeeper one must have a clear mind, you have to think about everything,weather,flowering,economic considerations,health of bees,making wooden equipment etc.

Learning basics of beekeeping is not too complicated but to learn finesses you have to learn all your life. As someone once said it is more than a science, beekeeping is really an art. Right now I have only 5 hives left from 15 which is the numbers of hives I have before last winter. This year I plan to split my hives in order to increase the number of hives. I need to reach at least 100 hives in order to make a living from bees. But I think beekeeping is rewarding and in time my work will yield something for me. That is the reason I endure all the problems. I hope I will succeed in beekeeping in the organic, sustainable way.

Editor: Sasha Mrkailo

From the MyFoodStory website, storyteller SashaMrkailo

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