I’ve Always Been A Beehooligan

From the days I first began as beekeeper, I can say pretty confidently that I’ve been a Beehooligan.  “Beehooligan” is the term we coined to describe someone who doesn’t follow the standards or “conventions” of the larger group very well.  As a matter of fact, a hooligan in general is someone who not only doesn’t follow along with “proper” or socially acceptable practices but pretty much enjoys tromping on them, through them and over them whenever it happens.

So it is with a “Beehooligan”.  We not only don’t care what most folks think of as the acceptable way to go about things, we pretty much are oblivious to it or don’t pay much attention even if we do know.

Given that line of thinking, I could be described as a hooligan for almost my whole life.  I do things my way win, lose or whatever the result.  I’m not saying that makes me any better or worse than anyone else, just someone who marches rather haphazardly to my own madcap drummer.

In the beekeeping world, it not only has carried over, it has spilled over and run amok.  From the beginning I have ever been the experimentalist and the guy who, for lack of a better way to say it, sees something and says “Hold my beer, watch this…” as I wade into the fray.

I’m the guy who will stand in the middle of the swarm cloud of bees as they move from one to the next place, laughing almost maniacally.  Actually, there video of me doing just that somewhere on a local TV station.  I’m the kind of fella who climbs up on a roof with just a ladder, a hive tool and a box and proceeds to hang over the side of the roof, nigh upside down to cut a hive out of the soffit.  Why?  Because it needed to be gotten and those were the things I had on me at the time to get it done with.  Forget gravity and 30 foot drops.  Ropes to secure myself?  “Hunh?!  Wish I’da thought of that before then.  Oh well, too late to back out now…”

I don’t encourage people to go about beekeeping as I do.  As a matter of fact, I frequently let people know that I am probably the example they ought NOT to follow.    Everyone has something they can teach others, even if it’s what not to do.    Ever heard the saying, “If it’s stupid but it works, then it’s not stupid.”?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure whoever said that phrase had to have been watching me at some point in time.

I love my bees.  I feel a passion for beekeeping that I often feel not many others understand or can appreciate the full depths or extent of.  I always have questions that I want the answers to and apparently am too impatient to wait for “real” scientists or researchers to do it safely or appropriately first.  I want to know and I want to know now so please stand out of my way because I’m going in head first.

I plan to share some of my experiences and stories from my own point of view going forward here.  I truly believe that while teaching in a formal classroom or workshop setting is great, some things are taught best sometimes just by telling a story.  Let me tell you about my individual successes and my failures.  Let me tell you about that time I fell out of a tree trying to catch a swarm, and so on.

I think not only will you be entertained, you will also come away from reading about my experience and maybe learned something without having to experience it yourself.  If nothing else, perhaps I can be your crash test dummy.




Bee Smart Update: 2-11-17

Yes, it’s a day late but NOT a dollar short.

Since the last update we’ve continued to add great new content on the Bee Smart website here.

Episode 5 of the Bee Smart Weekly podcast came out.  Guest podcaster was John Winkler from the Papio-Missouri River NRD was in the studio with us talking about bee friendly large scale land management.

After that we showed a Bee Smart video tour of the Sioux City, IA Dadant Bee Supplies and talked with General Manager Jim Raders.  Bee Crew member Antnee G picked up his first beekeeping gear also.

A really spiffy article about honey bee behaviors as they relate to age and specificity was posted.

To boot, since this update is a day late, I’ll toss you a link to the freshest podcast release just today (the podcasts are released on the website every Saturday for those who don’t want to wait.)  This podcast invites Dean Stiglitz of “Complete Idiot’s Guide To Beekeeping” notoriety to talk about beekeeping books with us.

As always, we had several other posts and links to news about bees and beekeeping across the internet, Usually with a bit of an editorial to introduce it.

Please remember to check the Bee Smart website frequently and feel most welcome to sign up and help us build the community on the Forums there as well.

There’s A New Sheriff Around Here

Congratulations are in order.  Big Bear got the great idea to hire an Editor-In-Chief to handle the Bee Smart website.  So beecause I proved myself so handy at beeing a, well let’s face it, I was a mascot, I have been given a shot at running the whole show here.

Life as a drone isn’t all that it’s cracked up to bee.  Yes, I know I’m small for a drone and yes, he makes me wear that prosthetic stinger.   Still , it’s significantly better than life in the hives.  Sure, there’s all the hang time with the fellas and you get to hang out in pretty much any hive you want.  It’s kind of like what you call living like a rock star.  All the girls giving you attention, free food whenever you want, crash anyplace, chasing all the best bee girls, every one of them is like a queen.

Oh sure, we die when we finally manage to catch up and spend some quality time with one of those queens.  But hey, what a way to go, am I right?

But then, oh they don’t tell you about this when you crawl out of the cell day one.  Oh no, when the weather goes cold, it’s like zombee apocalypse time for drones in the hive.  It’s like every single worker is out to kill you.  IT’S CRAZY I SAY!!!

So, thanks, but no thanks.  I found my way out of that craziness and landed a sweet job working for Big Bear here at Bee Smart as the “Public Relations Representative”.  Yeah, I was a mascot.  That’s alright though.  I’ve been reading and watching all kinds of fascinating documentaries on people.  This YouTube thing is wild.  You humans are a trip.

So here I am, the new Editor-in-Chief of Bee Smart beekeeping project.  On the surface, my main job is to keep everyone informed and entertained.  “Keep the content flowing like honey.” is what the Bear told me.

Beehind the scenes though, really, have you ever tried to keep a bunch of A Type personality beekeepers like the bunch we have here on task?  It’s like herding Aphids.  No cooperation at all, I’m here ta tell ya.

I think you’ll like what we have planned in the upcoming days, weeks and months ahead.  Lot’s of news captured from the web, curated and posted here for you.  Original articles on anything and everything to do with bees, beekeepers and beekeeping and anything else like honey, beeswax, woodworking, gardening for bees…  You get what I mean.

Of course we can’t forget the podcasts.  Or the videos.  Let’s not forget the monthly newsletter for Patrons too.  Whew.  I just started this job and I’m already tired just thinking about it.  I don’t know now if it was a promotion or punishment.


The Bee Smart Podcast Crew Has A New Regular – YappyBeeman

Beecause we’re always looking for awesome people who can have fun in this wild beekeeping world we work in, JP brought us a fella who’s a natural fit for the Bee Smart Podcast Crew.

Beginning soon, “Yappy” AKA Travis Ulbrich, will bee joining us on the weekly podcast and you will find select examples of his work among our various and sundry postings. with plenty of links to show you even more of the cool stuff he does with bees.

Thank you for stepping in to the Bee Smart community and Yappy, we know you’ll bee right at home here.


Thieves steal hundreds of beehives primed to pollinate Central Valley almonds

Montana beekeeper Lloyd Cunniff shipped his 488 hives of bees in fresh, new pallets to Northern California in late December, hoping to pollinate acres of almond trees in the Central Valley.

Source: Thieves steal hundreds of beehives primed to pollinate Central Valley almonds

Would you Like To Bee A Hero?

The Bee Smart beekeeping project was started with the lofty goal of being a mixed media content creator that specializes in presenting useful, interesting and entertaining content about all things bees, beekeepers and beekeeping.

We need help to make that happen.  We need YOUR help.  How can you help?  I’m glad you asked.  Here are some ways you can help us, help you:

  • Become a Patron of the Bee Smart beekeeping project by clicking our handy button on the website and included at the bottom of most posts and pages here.  If you like our work and want to see us continue to bring our best, we can sure use you as a Patron.
  • Become a Sponsor with one-time Sponsorships of specific objectives.  When we do our “Big” videos, record podcasts and hold special live events there are some specific extra costs that we need to cover to handle things like obtaining specific, appropriate equipment, travel expenses, and sometimes to hire a specialist or pay one of our talented team for all the time, effort and creativity they are expending on this very worthwhile pursuit.  All Sponsors are proudly listed in credits and on the website here to let the word know we didn’t did this alone, we needed YOU and YOU came through for us in a BIG way.  Look for the Sponsorship “Sub-Page” under the “Meet the Team” listing on the website menu for more information.
  • SHARE, share,  then share some more.. Please share the posts and links we send out on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn.  The more people who beecome aware of Bee Smart and the great content we offer, the more people we can bee useful to and maybe even find more Patrons and Sponsors.

Bringing You The Best Of The Buzz On Bees, Beekeepers and Beekeeping

Here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project, we want to bee the best we can bee.  A large part of that is working to bring you interesting, useful and entertain original content.

Beeginning today, Bee Smart beegins the next phase of bringing forth the buzz by doing a bit of news aggregation.  Meaning, we scour the world wide web every morning looking for noteworthy news and put it all together here in one place for you.   Beecause of that, we’ve also added a new category area to search in our posts, “Bee Newsworthy”

You will notice that we have already posted some interesting tidbits pulled from various news sources that we think you will find fits our description of “useful, interesting and entertaining”.

Later today, you will still get some of our original content as you are becoming used to seeing as well.  I hope you enjoy the news and notes here.  I know I like them.


Do you like our work?

Where Does Bee Smart’s Content Come From?

The Bee Smart beekeeping project is essentially the informational arm of my work as a professional apiarist.  My “Hands On” work is communicated through the BBE-Tech Apiary Services website but everything to do with teaching, doing presentations and making content available about all things bees, beekeepers and beekeeping that is informative, useful and (I hope) entertaining is done here on the Bee Smart beekeeping project.

The vast majority of content is produced, edited, written and recorded by yours truly.  Why?  Because I like to facilitate and help people be successful in their chosen area.  If I can facilitate a successful experience and make a living at the same time, albeit not a “Grand” living, color me ecstatic.

I leave the door open for some special collaborators on this project, namely JPtheBeeman, Schawee, Beekeeper of the swamp and Antnee G, to write, send in video and collaborate on audio projects as much or as little as their hearts desire.  I bee-lieve in the work all those folks do and if I can help them get their awesome content out to others even moreso, by golly I’m there.

Having said that, they are not “paid” employees or contributors.  They are not expected to do anything they do not choose to do here.  If they find it easier and accomodatable to post content here without the worries of managing a website or other such tasks, then I have done my little bit in fair trade with them perhaps for that awesome content.

In regard to other potential contributors, I’d absolutely LOVE to be able to pay for awesome content others are capable of bringing to the table.  In the future, as we gain more patrons and grow our earnings, we will have the budget to pay people for extraordinary contributions.  In the meantime though, I won’t be the next Huffington Post and pay people in “exposure” because I think that’s just dishonest.

If there is a way I can barter or trade with a potential contributor short of $ and you are willing to discuss it, talk to me, let’s make magic happen.  But it’s your choice entirely.

As for me, I will work hard to continue to bring you the best content that is useful, informative and (hopefully) entertaining about all things bees, beekeepers and beekeeping that I can and earn your patronage.