So I apologize that I didn’t update last week – I was at a conference for work in Portland, OR. While I was presenting my poster at the conference one of my co-workers that I hadn’t seen in over a year stopped by to chat about the poster. After discussing work, the conversation drifted to hobbies – he mentioned how he had several chickens and had been recently raising goats. Apparently his children were showing the goats in the state fair that week. While on the topic of agriculture, I mentioned how I started raising bees this year. His response was that coincidently he’d gotten bees himself. We chatted for a while about our hives and he mentioned how he decided to get them – he thought it would be a cool hobby to do with his son. He said initially his son was afraid of bees, but now has warmed up to their honey bees and will sit near the hive to watch them!
This conversation wasn’t at all out of the norm. I’ve had dozens of experiences like this, meeting fellow beekeepers randomly by mentioning my hobby. Its almost like its a secret society, where you utter the right word to a fellow member and you have an instant bond. And this underground beekeeper network is vast – almost everyone I mention beekeeping to has some connection to the hobby. Most often they have a neighbor, friend or relative who keeps bees, but sometimes they are a beekeeper themself. A couple months ago my co-worker forwarded my name to one of the managers in the other building – turns out he got his bees the same week I did! (This is a shout out if you’re reading this.) After that discovery my husband likes to joke that beekeeping is better for networking than learning to golf!