I sort of jumps into the middle of the story with my very first post, and decided I should backtrack a bit and fill in the background story. The two top questions about that background would probably be “Why bees?” and “Why top-bar hives?”. This post will try tackle the first question.
I am guessing that I am the only person who can say that I got into beekeeping because of reading about artificial intelligence. Its a bit of a roundabout way to get there, but thats how my mind works some times. It all started with me reading slashdot, something I often do. There was an article about trying to use social insects as a model for artificial intelligences in machines. Instead of trying to make a “smart”robot, you just make a “swarm” of simple robots. Each alone follows very simple rules, and communicates what it has done to the group. As a group however complex decisions can be made. The examples used to explain this were ants finding the best paths between the nest and a food source and a swarm of honeybees choosing a new hive site. I won’t go into the details here, you can find lots of info on both by searching on google. I found the topic on the bees interesting and wanted to know more about swarms. This lead to more and more reading that moved into honeybee biology and beekeeping. I don’t know what would have happened if I had decided to try and found more info on ants. Would I be building and ant farm now?
I really can’t blame all this obsession on a random article on slashdot. I’ve always been interested in science and nature. Understanding how things work fascinates me. On top of that, as I have gotten older I have become more and more interested in agriculture. Growing or producing things seems to have a attraction for me. I don’t want to be a farmer, but but being a gentleman farmer sound good. 🙂 I just need to work out the “wealth or income” part. Bees are a fascinatingly complex and wonderful species that appealed to my curiosity. On top of that they also provide the connection with the earth and our environment that I like about growing things. The mix seemed irresistible. It seemed like a perfect hobby. Interesting and useful.
Is there something wrong me when a hobby seems more interesting because it includes 100,000 stinging insects?