Imagine for a moment that at some point in your life you decided to become a brain surgeon. Once decided, you seek out a brain surgeon for advice on how to move forward on this new career path.
To your surprise, after brief introductions, the surgeon hands you a scalpel and says, “Here you go! In several years you should have it all figured out for yourself. Good luck!” Wouldn’t this strike you as just a little bit crazy?
As silly as this example may be, this is exactly how many, or maybe most, beekeepers have started out. After becoming interested in bees, step one for many beginners has been to assemble a hive and place an order for a nuc or package. Like our aspiring brain surgeon, they have no concept whatsoever about the complexity and intricacies that lie ahead.
This is exactly how I got started in bees. My neighbor decided to stop beekeeping and sold me a couple of hives, books, extractor, and everything else related to his beekeeping for 100 bucks. We moved the hives to my house in the dead of winter. That was 26 years ago. What a disaster!
Fortunately, aspiring beekeepers in Oregon have resources available to them in 2018. There is absolutely no reason or excuse for folks to have to “go it alone.”
Oregon’s regional associations report very successful and well-attended bee schools in recent years.
The Oregon Master Beekeeper Program now provides a uniform, current, and legitimate path forward in the development of new beekeepers. In addition, and this is pivotal, mentors are assigned to provide oversight, assistance, and coaching for new beekeepers.
The Oregon State Beekeepers Association is supportive of our regional associations, the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program, Commercial Beekeeper Workshops, and other efforts to establish success in beekeeping.
How can you help? You have already become part of the solution by keeping your membership current in the OSBA. Talk with your fellow beekeepers about becoming a member. Consider mentoring a serious new beekeeper. Mentors are needed!
Thank you for all of your effort and support for Oregon beekeepers. Your contribution to the overall success of the industry has an impact on all of us.
I hope your bees look as good as mine! Oops! Did I say that?