“Outside The Swarm” Column

It’s not always the obvious answer…

Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby that challenges us to understand and learn from our bees on an ongoing bases. While the true authority are the bees themselves, there’s no shortage of opinion from beekeepers. Whether in the form of books, online content, beekeeping classes or any other means, it is simple to find a strong opinion!
And yet there are few absolutes in beekeeping. The underlying “truths” of beekeeping are not as simple as we would like and there are a complex set of reasons why bees act the way they do.

The Dangers of Group Speak

Like any hobby, beekeeping experiences trends! For various reasons, not least of which is the power of social media, ordinary, unproven ideas and philosophies can quickly become the “done thing”. This then becomes so-called “group speak”, which builds momentum and interest among a very large audience. All the while for a topic that is potentially based on a shaky premise.

Outside The Swarm

This column asks questions! Yes, it’s opinionated – but the common theme is to not just accept “truisms” because everyone else shouts the same tune. Rather, Outside The Swarm is about seeking actual evidence and, in it’s absence, asking questions. The intent is to help you – the sincere and interested beekeeper – ask your own, tough questions. And next time someone tells you “I do this because everyone else does” you have a different philosophy to offer!
Ron Lane has years of experience as a beekeeper in beautiful Oregon and regularly teaches beekeeping classes. He contributes to our “Newbee Questions, Expert Answers” column.

We do hope you enjoy this series.