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Beekeeping may be a "hobby" to some but to this beekeeper it is hard, never-ending and expensive WORK, if done right.
In this climate your must be hands-on nearly every day of the year.
Raising your own queens, only adding new "blood' occasionly, is better than constantly mixing genes. I believe the bees get "use to" a certain beekeeper and by maintaining a gene pool means tamer bees, and good production as well as active pollenation.
Every one does things differently. Short cuts never work. I know many 'lazy' beekeepers. You must constantly observe your colonies or you will end up with dead bees. This doesn't help anyone, especially longevity of the bees. DOC
It's a great picture, and so typical of a cat's curiosity. I don't keep bees, (where I live the neighbors and HOA would object) but consider them wonderful creatures, not only for the honey they produce but the pollenizing work they do. Thank goodness there are still wasps in this area. One neighbor was horrified that I declined to spray poison on a dirt-dauber nest under the eave of my house. He is the same person who thinks I'm crazy because I want to grow vegetables in my backyard. I've given up trying to explain the many reasons I persist in the activity.
Sometimes wasps come into the house when I go in or out the doors.
My cats are instantly alert, but have never caught one. I try to leave them alone and ultimately each winged creature finds its way out again. I am really grateful for Nature's helpers.
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My dog hunts my honeybees. Seems to be a hobby with her. She gums them & flings them around until they're too stunned to sting, then she gobbles them down with relish. How she learned to do this, and WHY she persisted in learning how to do this, mystify me.
I think she still gets stung once in awhile, so maybe it's a particularly enjoyable form of Russian roulette for dogs, who knows.
Yow! I run around barefoot all summer so am liable to step on a few bees each year. Mainly when the creeping clovery stuff is blooming or if they're searching for water (WHY DON'T THEY DRINK from the pebbly tray I put outside the hive for EXACTLY that purpose????).
But that sensation is so known to me that I have that foot up to my chest & yank out those stingers so fast that the event barely registers in my mind before I'm moving on to the next task.
I am a "lazy" beekeeper. I monitor but don't really manage the little things, and I lost a colony last year due to a damaged queen or some other problem, but the world has one more healthy hive in it thanks to moi. They're welcome to all their hard-made honey, and that seems to keep them quite well. I suppose bees whose honey is cleared out every year are much more stressed.