Don’t you dare skip reading this page! Understanding that word, and then reacting to it, is a MAJOR STEP in the upgrading process from HAVER to KEEPER. OK-What does it mean? An-thro-po-mor-phic means to ascribe or to refer HUMAN characteristics to NON-HUMAN things. This is a very narrow human way of viewing the things in the world. See, I told you it was simple, isn’t it? I’ll bet your cat’s eyebrow’s arch upwards as , the corners of its mouth roll backwards and upwards as the cat loudly laughs when you trip over the rug and fall flat on your rump. Well, doesn’t he enjoy a laugh like you? Humans think like humans, NOT LIKE BEES!

Bees think like bees, NOT LIKE HUMANS! Humans have brains that can be changed, upgraded, absorb new knowledge, and are receptive to improvement. Bees have brains that can NOT be changed, can NOT be upgraded, can Not absorb new knowledge, and are Not receptive to improvement-or even understand any change. Their brain has been genetically programmed by God at their conception.

Ad nauseam, I have encouraged you to THINK LIKE A BEE and forget any comparison to human actions. THIS UNDERSTANDING, BY ITSELF, WILL MATERIALLY HASTEN YOUR UPGRADE FROM “HAVER” TO “KEEPER”! I don’t want to hear all that crap about “I can’t” because most of you have many talents that I do not do well or at all: like building a straight brick wall, working the computer (Internet), painting pictures, gourmet cooking, playing a piano, speaking several languages, etc. It is all a matter of DESIRE-HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT TO BE A BEEKEEPER? One of my favorite books is the NEW EDITION of THE HIVE AND HONEYBEE. It has 1269 pages, 27 chapters, authored by 36 very famous honey bee scientists. The average chapter is 47 pages long. To me, it is noteworthy that the famous Dr. Norman Gary, Professor of Entomology and Apiculture, University of California and author of 100 scientific papers about honey bees wrote the LONGEST chapter, 103 pages, entitled ACTIVITIES AND BEHAVIOR OF HONEY BEES. This is “tough, slow, thought provoking reading”, but it OPENS YOUR EYES AND MIND to understanding bees and hence “how to think like a bee”. I plead with with you to buy or borrow this book and spend these cold winter months reading, rereading, and digesting Norm Gary’s great analysis of bee thinking or bee behavior. Doing this puts you on the trail of becoming a good beekeeper, so YOU can teach others! A new copy sells for about $36, and you have a wonderful textbook.

Let me get you thinking about the antithesis of anthropomorphic or more simply said how we humans WRONGLY think of honey bees behavior and hence we are comparing apples with oranges: Humans have ears and can hear kind words sound quite different than mad words. Bees have no ears and hence cannot hear even words of love, the strains of a Stradivarius violin, a rifle shot, or the tick of a watch. How do you explain the people that claim to calm bees with lullabies? But why does a loud ticking clock placed on top of a hive get bees excited? That the clock vibration (not sound) is unnatural to a bee and hence disturbing.

You have two eyes, whereas the bee has five eyes. Yet the bee cannot see near as well as you can, nor does it notice SLOW movement, and it cannot see the color red. However, it can see ultraviolet light, and I’ll bet you wish you could so you would not get sunburned. Blindfolded, could you identify other tenants of your office, apartment house, or home by their smell? A bee can and that is how they kept strangers out of their colony, or when swarming elevate their body and fan the odor of their Nasanoff gland to alert other colony members “Our queen mother is here with me. Join up.”

How about this one: The queen lays a worker egg on April 10th, and the bee “hatches” (emerges) on May 1st. In the next week or so, it builds comb, feeds larva, unloads and packs pollen, unloads and packs nectar into cells and then fans air to evaporate water from it, caps cured honey, carries trash outside away from the hive, and stings you because you roughly removed the inner cover. If she had not died from stinging you, she might have spent the last three weeks of her short life gathering nectar in May and early June to make honey to feed the winter bees 6 months after she dies. WHO TAUGHT THIS BEE ALL THESE JOBS? WHO DIRECTED HER WHAT TO DO AND WHEN TO DO IT? WHY DID SHE DO ANYTHING AT ALL WORKING HERSELF TO DEATH IN BEHALF OF SOME FUTURE PROGENY AT SOME STRANGE TIME OF COLD WEATHER? Read Norm Gary’s thoughts about bee behavior and gain beekeeping knowledge.

Lord knows that I am not Norm Gary, but I teach bee behavior when I can, and I feel very strongly that any Short Course (as boring as it may be for beginners) would be enhanced by steering beeHAVERS away from anthropomorphic thinking towards bee behavior or bee genetics or even better “to learn to THINK LIKE A BEE”. If you come to any of my short courses, you will suffer my dose of bee behavior to your mind. The honey bee pollination is so important to our human stomachs, that I want lots of competent beekeepers around protecting honey bees to aid the living of my great grandchildren. Hence I ask for your help by upgrading your apian skills and the ability to teach others after I am gone.

Thank You!

George Imirie
Certified EAS Master Beekeeper

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