New Heights for the Hello Kitty Hive!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My thanks to some new friends over at Hello Kitty Hell for a bit of shameless self-promotion that set the Sacramento Vegetable Gardening hit counter soaring to new heights.

It always pleases me to see ten to 15 people access the blog daily. It means I'm reaching someone. Hopefully, I'm teaching them so new tricks or at least making them laugh. It's all I've got people. You go with what you know.

But -- when the fine folks over at Hello Kitty Hell discovered the Hello Kitty Hive and published this entry? The hit counter hit the roof! Eight thousand hits over the space of 24 hours? Exsqueeze me? Even the blog counter Technorati confirms that I am officially a "big deal" now. The blog that is Sacramento Vegetable Gardening went from the 754,975 thousandth most important blog to a mere 705,867.

My friends -- this is power. Who cares about those other 706 thousand clowns anyway? I bet they don't have a Hello Kitty Beehive. All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup!

Let's just say I owe those fine folks at Hello Kitty Hell a bottle or two of Hello Kitty Hive honey, which will hopefully be available next year. I imagine the folks that actually license "Hello Kitty" will jump into the honey line as well. I can't blame them. When you've got a hit like Hello Kitty on your hands -- you take advantage of it.

Not to change the subject (but I am) -- many of you have come to know that the wife that is Venus and I are first-time beekeepers. The scientific term is "newbs." The Latin term is E. Pluribus Newbium. We've never done anything like this before, and each day with the hive is a learning experience.

Unfortunately, it seems there are a few other beekeepers who show absolutely NO SHAME WHATSOEVER in capatalizing on the fortunes of Newbie Beekeepers. Case in point? A Sacramento area beekeeper by the name of Brian Fishback.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Fishback once or twice before during the monthly meetings of the Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association (we all get together to show off our bee stings and drink wine made from honey). I've actually heard him speak on the subject of bees -- although to be honest -- most of what he told me went straight over ye olde cranium.

But Mr. Fishback knows what us Newbie Beekeepers are going through these days. He knows that we are encountering nightly scenes like this in front of the hive. He knows that Newbie Beekeepers like the wife that is Venus and I are getting stung on a daily basis. And he knows that some of us "Newbs" are having second thoughts about owning a servicing a hive on a daily basis.

Not everyone -- it seems -- can put up with the welts.

What has Mr. Fishback done?

The September edition of the Sacramento Beeline (cute) -- a monthly publication of the Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association -- arrived in my email inbox the other day. It was packed full of useful information regarding all things bees -- and also contained this little advertisement from none other than Mr. Fishback. It reads (and I quote):

"To bee or not to bee, that is the question I ask of thee. If you have purchased bees, equipment, supplies and have discovered that this may not bee the time for you to bee raising bees, I would like to purchase your hives or supplies. Please give me a call: Brian Fishback (916) 709-XXXX.

How utterly quaint of him. Fishback knows the bees have turned on us a bit (all hives do when pollen sources start to dry up in the fall) and is looking to swoop in and captalize on OUR hard work, OUR bee sting welts, OUR hives, OUR summer sweat and hard work, and our FEARS as Newbie Beekeepers.

He knows -- all too well -- that approaching a hive that looks like this one to your right can be a bit -- well -- unsettling to normal folks. And he's right. I still have a hard time approaching the hive when the bees are out in force like this. You can't even see that feeder jar in front, can you? Notice how it's kinda covered with bees? Bees that you need to flick off to retrieve the jar in question so you can refill it?

Not a job for the squeamish -- I'll admit. And I'll also admit that the wife that is Venus has commented on more than one occassion that "maybe beekeeping wasn't such a good idea after all."

And then she saw the ad from Brian Fishback. Suddenly, her views shifted. So did mine.

So -- we have a message for our fellow beekeeper in arms: FORGET ABOUT IT FISHBACK.

How would San Francisco Giants TV Color commentator Mike Krukow put it? Oh yes -- that's right. He'd say something snide like: "Grab some pine, meat."

Thanks, but no thanks, Fishback. We built this City. We're not giving up. There's only one Hello Kitty Hive that we're aware of. And those bees ain't going nowhere.

Shame, Shame, Brian. Back to the bench for you!