One beekeeper’s New Year
As I begin my third year with HoneyBeeSuite, I can’t help but think of Christmas Day 2009 when my daughter and I sat at the dining room table, slurping hot chocolate and trying to set up our blogs. In the background my husband was playing mind-numbing oldies and the cat was wrestling tinsel from the tree. I had done a little homework and knew I wanted to use a private host with WordPress software, but that was about the extent of my knowledge.
We had fun that day and by the end we had registered domains, selected themes, and were basically ready to go. That was the easy part. At the time, I was working on my thesis and, consequently, my whole life seemed to revolve around bees. Still, I hadn’t a clue what to say in a blog, so I didn’t say much. Heck, I had never even read a blog. In January 2010 I averaged five readers per day. In February it dropped down to one. Ouch.
After that I realized blogging wasn’t a contest and I wasn’t being graded, so I just wrote about whatever bee thing entered my mind. It might be related to my research, or my hives, or a bee I saw in the garden. It might be scientific, or a story, or a news item. This random philosophy started working for me and I liked the results. By the summer of 2011 I was hitting the occasional thousand-reader day. That might not sound like much if you’re blogging about celebrity shenanigans or the latest killer app, but for an esoteric subject like beekeeping? I’ll take it.
So today I want to send a special thanks to each and every reader who has clicked on my site. I want to thank the grammar police, the organic agriculture SWAT team, the top-bar hive mavens, the natural beekeeper’s defense department, and all the other folks who think I’m just plain crazy. All of you have taught me something. When it comes to a real education, I can guarantee that nobody has learned more from HoneyBeeSuite than I have. Not even close.
And it’s not just bees I’ve learned about. Complaints like “your site loads too slowly” or “you have too many scripts” or “your pictures look funny” have forced me to immerse myself in HTML, CSS, and an entire can of alphabet soup I never knew existed. And the need for bee portraiture has forced me into yet another frustrating realm: do you know how long it takes to get a bee to smile? Knowing what I do now, would I do it all over again? I wonder . . .
If I were the type to make New Year resolutions, I would resolve to spend more time beekeeping and less time blogging. Yes, that stack of overflowing honey supers is still in my room. I have boxes of unassembled woodenware, buckets of unprocessed beeswax, and gallons of honey in my shed. My overburdened workbench is laden with framing wire, hive tools, queen cups, and dead bees.
Since I’m not the resolutions type, I’ll probably just keep writing and trying for that 1500-hit day. But for now I’d like to wish each of you a healthy and prosperous New Year. If at all possible, please remember to bee suite . . . and bee happy.