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!


The Vintage Vignette said...

Sounds like you and Venus could really use some of those funny looking beekeeper suits! Maybe they even make them in Hello Kitty Pink? :)

Fred Hoffman said...

Better to quote the other SF Giants broadcaster, Duane Kuiper, on your situation: "This isn't good, folks." I'll trade you: give me your bees, I'll give you my yellowjackets. They both do the same sort of thing...sort of. And the yellowjackets are much more social. They'll come right up to you and buzz, "Howdy! What's that you're drinking? Can I have some?"

Brown Thumb Mama said...

Exactly what I was thinking. "Grab some pine, meat!" is heard often around our house. Good for you--stick with it and you'll be repaid in honey. You know you need to store it in little pink jars, right?

Bill Bird said...

Please, please, please don't tell me they sell little, pink, Hello Kitty jars for honey. That would just be a tad too much.

hkh said...

Glad I could send a few folks your way. The wife would probably love the Hello Kitty Hive honey (especially if you could find a way to make it pink), but I have a feeling it would only add to my Hello Kitty Hell... ;)

Garry said...

hot summer days drives the bees from the hives to cool - so this is completly normal. one way to help is to flip the hive top lid and that will allow a bit of chiminey effect to cool off the hive. my hive tops are usually flipped from june-sept. also the only way to fix an aggressive hive is to requeen. long ago i had an aggressive hive and it was mean. i had to requeen it and about 8 weeks later all was good, but bottomline unless you get a diff queen they will be mean - even if they superscede onthier own, the queen daughters from the mean queen will continue to pass on the trait. there is still some time to requeen! good luck! garry

Anonymous said...

Dearest Bill and Venus:
Thank you for your kind words. It is warm and welcoming to know that this is how you treat people you call upon for support. The fact of the matter is I obtain a lot of old, worn-out bee boxes, frames and tools from folks not finding the time or interest in beekeeping. Many of the colonies I obtain are infested, run-down, and deprived by the time I get a call. So, what I am providing is a service to the bees as well as to those who call upon me. I'm sorry you feel this way. Maybe you can make a difference by holding a honorable position in the association as I do. You failed to mention I have volunteered my free time to do over 25 educational bee presentations throughout Sacramento for schools, assemblies, museums, and boy scout troops. Last but not least, for your readers, feel free to contact me at 916-709-0686 or to inquire about bee presentations.
Sincerely, Brian Fishback

Bill Bird said...

Dear Mr. Fishback,

I'm sorry you took the post seriously. It wasn't meant to be taken in that way. All of my writing -- both Venus and I -- is done tongue-in-cheek style. To be honest -- to see those bees crowded in front of the hive the way they were toward the end of summer scared the crud out of both of us. And -- on more than one occassion -- my lovely bride suggested we take Mr. Fishback up on this kind offer. That is the God's honest truth. Sorry to offend you. We did not mean to do so.