This is one of the strangest stories I have come across in a long while. Many of the facts appear to have been corroborated, but by whom, I cannot say. Aliens are reported to have touched down briefly in Utah, having traveled from who knows where in some sort of weird interstellar jalopy. According to eye witness accounts, the arrival of the alien ship was accompanied by a strange and magical astronomical event; an intense star appeared for several hours in the eastern sky in broad daylight, reminiscent of a Super Nova. Four of the apparently peaceful aliens, possibly representing the alien nuclear family, then emerged from their spacecraft wearing suits that resemble earthly beekeeping outfits. Communication with the creatures was limited, but judging by their protective garb they either came in search of honey bee swarms or they anticipated that Earth is inhabited primarily by bees. Current whereabouts of the aliens and their odd-looking vehicle are not known. I suspect that word of the success of Troop 202’s beekeeping activities has spread and that we will hear of more such encounters in the future.
Archive for August, 2010
The scouts attended the August 17 meeting of the Salt Lake City Council, opening the meeting by leading the Pledge of Allegiance. The scouts looked sharp in their Class A uniforms. The first agenda item for the City Council was to pass a resolution appointing me City Beekeeper. I was proud to have the scouts there to support me and to show their interest in beekeeping. Thank you all for your support and continued interest in beekeeping. Bees atop municipal buildings are good for the city and urban beekeeping is good for the bees. The scouts are an asset to the community and they can, with their energy and enthusiasm, save the world. I am happy that Mayor Becker, JT Martin and the entire City Council, Beth Elder and the library staff, and Danielle Downey and the Utah Department of Agriculture support beekeeping in Salt Lake City. By demonstrating their interest in beekeeping, the scouts of Troop 202 will, I believe, help efforts to reinstate the Beekeeping Merit Badge.
The Salt Lake Tribune ran an article today showcasing the beekeeping efforts of the scouts in Troop 202.
Summer begins to fade in August and the bees sense it. The populations of bees in the hives will decrease over the next couple of months. We will extract honey on Labor Day weekend, so all of the bees will be crowded into the brood boxes for the month of September after we take away the honey supers. I added a fourth shallow super to the North hive at the Harvard Yard. One of the supers contains comb honey for cut comb sections and is getting heavy. Two of the supers are full, weighing in at about 75 lbs each. The South hive has not produced quite as much honey. It has one full super and two partially full ones.
Check out the video essay about the Library Hives by Marty Foy at The City Weekly. Zionized
Jack W. and I were interviewed along with Beth Elder, director of the downtown library, by KCPW’s Elizabeth Ziegler and other local media. Listen to the KCPW Radio story here. A news report in the Deseret News also includes quotes from Councilman JT Martin regarding the city beekeeping ordinance. We want to promote beekeeping and Troop 202, so it is great for the scouts to be involved in caring for the bees at the library.
In the radio piece Elizabeth Ziegler says that there is a City ordinance against selling the library honey (implying that hobby beekeepers cannot sell their honey without some sort of permitting). I am not sure that her assertion is entirely correct – I think it is more of a State of Utah issue of permitting – but regardless, this is something that our troop needs to think about. We would like to use the scout honey from the hives in the Harvard Yard as part of a fund raiser. “Roadside honey sales” are normal in other states, but the scouts need to find out what is allowed in Utah. Mayor Becker wants improved city ordinances to encourage local food production, so how does honey fit into the picture? We are in the last calendar month of honey production for 2010, so I challenge the scouts to reflect on what they have learned, to think about why the BSA eliminated the Beekeeping Merit Badge in 1995, to consider whether or not the merit badge should be reinstated by the BSA, and to think about the role that the scouts might play in determining state or local law on the issue of honey sales by hobby beekeepers. I welcome comments on these subjects.
The Ross Rounds comb honey frames have been in place for more than two weeks at the library and the bees have not touched them. Jack W. inspected the library hives on Saturday, July 31. Both hives are vigorous and friendly. We spotted the queen in one hive and showed her off to some observers on the other side of the glass. We need a microphone in order to communicate with observers, since they might not have known what we were trying to show them, pointing at the queen crawling about on a frame. Will the bees draw out wax and create nice fancy Ross Round comb honey sections? Who knows. There is no way to make a hive do what you think it should do.