No Eggs and the Night Dreads

My daughter’s boyfriend, Noah is interested in beekeeping and so he spent the weekend helping me – which was nice since I enjoy his company. I did my best to work on interesting projects and to allow him to observe the bees without getting stung. Nothing squelches a new beekeeper’s enthusiasm quicker than getting stung repeatedly.

BTW: I got (6) stings this weekend but they were all well deserved for doing stupid shit.

I’d like to point out that I have a vast amount of beekeeping knowledge. I’ve studied beekeeping books and videos for years and I can answer most questions people ask. I’ve also gained a lot of experience through my own screw ups and I’m pretty good about only making the same serious mistakes once. That being said, there are so many times I look into my hive and feel as dumb as a dog looking at a doorknob.

We did manage to find both of the new queens out at Dr. D’s place but no eggs. At (43), I may need new glasses but I couldn’t find any eggs and I doubt all three of the new queens are just not laying. They may also need more time. Either way I felt defeated.

Once all the bees were fed, we called it a day. At home I did my best to waterboard my disappointment with a couple of bottles of Rascato but with very little success. So when all else failed, I went to bed.

The night dreads – that’s what I call it when I wake up in the middle of the night and begin imagine the worse case scenario for my life. It’s not just empty thoughts; I think about sick family members, money issues, work problems and so on but I also obsess about all the things that could go wrong. I know the whole thing is compounded by the fact that I’m half asleep but it’s hard to tell if I’m insane or if I’m just really stressed out. I constantly worry that one day I’ll flip out like Leonardo Decaprio in The Aviator and my wife will just find me in front of the mirror muttering, “It’s the future… it’s the future… it’s the future… it’s the future…”

Nonetheless, at 4:00am Sunday morning, I woke up and began thinking about my beekeeping plans. Even if I could build (10) mini-nucs each weekend, I could still only get about (500) built in time for next spring. To make matters worse, at the rate I am splitting hives, I won’t be anywhere near (100) full size hives.

That was when a thought came to mind that I have rarely ever had about anything: “Maybe I should just quit.” It seems silly to think of it in the daylight but at 4:00am it seemed like a good idea – for about a half of a second anyway.

I can’t give up – this is my Plan G!

Plan A was Architecture but after designing a couple of dozen houses I got tired of designing other people’s dreams. Plan B was when I became a fireman but the pay was so bad, I gave that up after about (4) years. Plan C was paramedic but that job is what sparked my anxiety issues. Plan D was offshore life but that dried up. Plan E was to become a writer but so far that hasn’t panned out either – though I would gladly do that full-time. Plan L is to finish my degree and become a full-time teacher (I already teach part time). Around Plan Q is becoming a standup comic but my wife doesn’t think that shit’s funny at all. And Plan Z is to keep doing what I’m doing as a Safety Man but that is far from a desired option.  (Note: I’m only kidding about my wife not being supportive – she actually supports anything I want to do… she is awesome! It sounds like pandering but she doesn’t read this crap.)

So giving up on professional beekeeping is not an option. Of course reaching my goals this year doesn’t seem realistic either. That only leaves the third option; do what I can and be content “if” I do my best.

So my goal is still the same: Master grafting, create (750) mini mating nucs, and create (100) viable hives. However, that is my overall yearly goal. I need to set more obtainable, short term goals. So I made the following spreadsheet for this month and will do the same each month that follows for as long as it is helpful.

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