This was the overwhelming theme yesterday… resistance.
I had a very frustrating afternoon and evening, and so it took supreme resistance to not blog it (or send some pretty nasty emails). My rule of thumb is to step away from the computer and allow your thoughts to chill out for a while.
There was also the first sign of resistance to our beehive from “a neighbor on our block,” posting under the handle “Concerned” on a local news website article.
Let me just pause for a second to reiterate that, 1.) We opened our property up for an afternoon, publicizing it well (including a large sign in our yard), allowing people to come and take a look at our top-bar hive, ask questions, share concerns, etc. 2.) In most, if not all articles, I either state in the article itself or at the end that people can email or call me with any questions or concerns… and people have. 3.) I am a 5’4″ pacifistic, and not threatening in the least. 4.) I have lived in this home for over 11 years. Moving on…–>
So, I wake up and that is the first email I see, the update that there was a comment on the article. Now, I am a big girl and can handle opposition and criticism just fine, but, I gotta tell ya, to have a “neighbor on my block” post a comment with misinformation at almost 2:00 in the morning felt a bit like a knife in my back. Is that what we as a society have come to– posting anonymously behind the security of a computer screen? I guess I was naive in thinking that people who had questions or issues would come directly to to one of the people who could answer the questions or address the issues. How solution-oriented of me, I apologize.
What was the comment that had me a little perturbed?
I live on the same block as the bee hive and I have to say I am against it. I am an eco freindly person but I beleive that everything has a place and this is not the place. While we cannot protect our kids from everything we do try to minimize their exposure to danger. I watch the kids from Port Catholic chase their balls into our yards on a regular basis. We also have Anita’s Garden on our block. Possibility Playground can bee see from this street, Vetern’s Park is down the hill, and Columbia Park is about 2 blocks away. Remember we are talking about 100,000 bee’s in a very confined area. I don;t have a problem with bee;s as much as I have a problem with location. And yes we did see an increace in bee activity on our block. Add in the wasps and it’s buzzing up here.
Of course, I responded:
Let me start by apologizing for the fact that we live so close in proximity and that you have not felt able to talk to me about your concerns. It makes me sad to think that a lot of your points could be discussed and worked through in a 10 minute exchange over a cup of coffee, but it has come to me drafting a reply to an anonymous neighbor on a website. We hosted a well-publicized “open house” (that was that big sign on our lawn) that would have been a great opportunity for this conversation. So I apologize that it has to be this way.
Let me start by repeating that the Principal at St. Mary’s, the man hired to, in part, ensure the safety of the students has no issues with the beehive. In fact, we are going to look at ways for the school to take advantage of it. We have two children who are actively involved in our hobby. If you live on the block, you are probably are aware that our yard is the converging point for the neighborhood kids, all of whom have been introduced to the hive and love it (and most of the parents have seen it as well). We have had a Fish Day party, a birthday party and numerous other gatherings since obtaining the hive– all with no stings.
Bees will travel up to 9 miles in search of pollen and nectar; that means that bees from a hive in Belgium, Fredonia, Grafton, 5 Corners, Random Lake and all points in between could sting someone in Port. And that is ignoring the fact that bees are docile creatures… My 10 year old daughter was pictured in the Press holding a honeybee, something she did on her own accord. Honey bees will only sting to defend their self or their hive, unlike wasps, hornets and yellow jackets, which are predators.
In the 11 years I have lived in my home, a ball has never made it from the school playground to where my hive is located. Also, I have strategically planted to create a ball-proof barrier in between the playground and my hive, in case one were to make it there. The are schools across the globe who have hives on their grounds, some even have hives INSIDE their classrooms. With education, we learn what a necessity bees are to us, that they thrive in urban settings (lack of pesticides that are used on farms, longer growing periods with the varied food sources), and that the value in a classroom setting is unmatched.
I would be curious to know if the bee increase you mention are honeybees, in fact, or if it could be bumblebees, yellow jackets, hornets or wasps. The majority of people that we show the hive to comment that they have never seen a bee that looks like ours before, which is due to the decline of the honeybee. If it was a honeybee, you are welcome for the pollination service. 🙂 I garden directly under and around the hive with no issues whatsoever; honeybees are not defensive over food sources– those are the other stinging insects.
I invite you to come over/call with any other issues or to see it in person.
What more was there to say???
But, that was only part 1 of the resistance for the day.