When there's nothing to eat, honeybees don't do very well.
But if you're a honeybee, a corn field might as well be a parking lot. Just nothing tasty out there.
Back in the day, farms were small. Farms were diverse. There were fence rows. There were weeds. There were animals. Cows, pigs, horses, chickens, sheep, goats.... dogs, cats.... bees...
A little clover here, a little alfalfa there. A garden, a grape vine or two.
There were people. It took a lot of caring hands, some responsibility, some love to watch over it all and see that things happened just so so.
See any of that now?
Agriculture has changed. And with it, beekeeping. (Society too, I might add.)
For the better? Progress? Hmmmm....
Listening to the radio this week I heard one particular ad (about a hundred times) for a new Syngenta fungicide / insecticide spray for soybeans. For next year! It's September, for God's sake!
Man oh man... What are they going to say about us in a hundred years?
Well, I'll get off my soap box. If you can't beat'em, join'em, right? My brother happens to be one of these big farmers. About this time of year the crops come off and he needs some help. I got to spend a rather enjoyable week driving this white Freightliner:
Yes, just like the Towns Van Zandt song.
But it wasn't all trucking.
One morning I worked in the buckwheat. The field had finished its bloom and thinking we might get another bloom in October, I bush hogged it and ran a cultiipacker through later to push the seeds down. Mason tried his hand at tractor driving.
After bush hogging over a few gardens, some puppies and cute little kittens, we decided that he'd learned enough for one day.
We grabbed Mommy and made it to the Farm Science Review:
There, we found tractors.
And Big Sprayers.
And Little Sprayers.
And Combines Too!
Mason is quite the fan of Big Ag. It was better then Christmas. He probably climbed on thirty different things.
And he wanted nothing to do with the small hidden beekeeping display off in the corner of the OSU gardens.
Maizy and Bridger just enjoyed giving their parental slaves a workout.
After two hours of Big Ag and Mason's perpetual excitement; running, climbing, yelling, trying on a new tractor about every ten feet... Mommy, Daddy and Bridger all felt the same: