Bee Time

The average bee has six legs, most hair thin.  They use these legs to clean, cling, carry, grapple and fight.  They are thin as not to weigh down the bee, slim to fold against the body during flight, but there are downsides to this design. The key disadvantage of course, is that there's no wristwatch small enough to fit a bee.

Neither is there a clock or calendar on the inside of the hive.  Bees don't keep time and they don't keep schedules and they certainly don't comply with any day to day needs that the beekeeper might feel he has.  Learn this, and you learn to operate on bee time.

"Leave the watch at the house" said an old beekeeper, when I asked him for advice on inspection.  His immediate meaning was that watches can push up the elastic on long sleeve shirts, giving unhappy bees a place to sting, or creating a place where an inquisitive bee might get squashed.  The philosophy runs deeper through beekeeping.  The colony grows on its own schedule.  You can't force it, feed it, zap it, or fertilize it into operating on any schedule but it's own.  So leave your watch in the house.  Take your time, and relax.  Be patient.  Learn to wait calmly from week to week instead of peeking in on the hive every few days.  Plan for the next harvest as much as this one.

This doesn't come natural in a world where we put instant coffee in a microwave and tap our fingers while we wait.  The bees do things when the time is right. That time is known only to them.