Eddie McKenzie’s Story: I was born a long time ago in a place I would just as soon forget. A little later, we moved to some other place. As a teenager I managed not to get caught doing the things that would have landed me in a juvenile detention center. However, while in high school I was lucky enough to have an uncle with a dairy farm. It was there that the genetic defect that causes people to want to produce food first showed itself.
After high school, I went away to college. I managed to escape that indoctrination with very little in the way of permanent damage, other than a few particularly irritating character flaws. The important thing about my college experience was that I met a lifelong friend whose dad had a 60 year old apple orchard and a few beehives. He was the first one to show me the inside of a beehive and thus began my addiction.
For some time after that, I read anything and everything I could find about honeybees. I worked with and learned from experienced beekeepers and kept records of everything I did with my own bees. I kept weather records and records of blooming dates for all the honey producing plants.
Somewhere along the way I began to feel like a lot of the conventional wisdom of the old timers, USDA, etc., seemed to be geared more towards the interests of the beekeeper instead of the honeybees. A little later I began to wonder how much these “management practices” ( as if bees could actually be managed) were contributing to all the problems the bees were having. And then I met a very biodynamic beekeeper from Germany who confirmed my suspicions about commercial beekeeping.
Since then I have gravitated to other beekeepers all over the country who are finding their own way, and doing quite well, in spite of what the experts have to say about it. Honeybees are not honey producing machines that are here for us to exploit. They are living creatures that should be treated as such.