It’s become a tradition for me to celebrate the “birthday” of Honey Bee Suite simply because I’m amazed it’s lasted so long. So on Christmas Day of this year, I will be toasting seven years of this strange undertaking. Who would have thunk it?
My original thought was that I could use a blog to record things I did with my bees, a sort of diary to help me remember. And honestly, I still use it that way. This year I consulted my own instructions for doing a Taranov split, for making candy boards, and for building screened inner covers among other things. I just print a copy, run out to the hives, and do whatever the directions say. Over the years, as I’ve tweaked my methods, I’ve also updated the old posts so the instructions are up to date.
I never envisioned this blog would be read by someone else, but with 2.3 million page views so far this year, I get the feeling someone is always looking over my shoulder. It proves that you never know how things will turn out.
Refining my beekeeping philosophy
Over this past year I’ve tried to solidify and clarify where I stand within the spectrum of beekeepers. In fact, I achieved my fifteen minutes of fame earlier this year when my comment about “voodoo beekeeping” was reprinted in Bee Culture. What a shocker!
But no one site is right for everyone, and it has become important to me to be transparent about what I believe about bees and their environment. Bearing that in mind, I don’t try to hang onto every reader. If someone isn’t comfortable with the philosophy here, he or she should move on and find like minds elsewhere. Everyone is happier that way.
Beekeeping is incredibly complex and extremely dependent on local conditions. I try to keep the discussions based on science and known best practices and leave personalities and politics out of the picture. What, if anything, beekeepers do with those answers is up to them, but I can sleep at night knowing I’ve given the best answer I know how.
A different choice for beekeepers
The result of this strategy has completely blown me away. I received many letters this year expressing appreciation for other readers. Comments like “You have a great group here” or “I learn so much from the comments” or “What a nice community you’ve established” are common.
The thing is, I couldn’t agree more. It seems that the people who use this site want to learn, to share, or to understand. Very few visitors to Honey Bee Suite are know-it-alls hell bent on putting others down. Those people don’t belong here and they know it.
Your input makes this site work
Users of this site continue to be incredibly supportive as well, and that support motivates me to provide the type of site you want. I’ve made many changes this past year and I have more on the drawing board. Some ideas work well, some not so much. But please don’t hesitate to make suggestions, tell me what isn’t working, or let me know what I’ve missed. I try to implement your ideas whenever I can, and it’s your input that made this site blossom. In short, you are awesome.
I’m going to cut this short before I get all wordy and emotional. Instead, I’m going to apologize for those quirky things that still aren’t working and extend a heartfelt thanks to you for sticking with me through the years.
I wish you, your loved ones, and your bees the best of the season,
Honey Bee Suite