Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bees and Potatoes

Well, it is definitely fall. We had a few weeks of winter back in October. Lows were getting down to the single digits and stayed below freezing for several days in a row. I had fed the bees some sugar syrup prior to the cold weather but was not sure that they had been given enough to build enough stores for the winter. After that time it warmed up for a while so I fed some more and then it got cold again so I stopped feeding. I was thinking that they had been given enough so I didn't continue feeding during this last warm spell.

Now, lets go back in time to remember that Virginia started the summer like gang busters. Later in the summer, however, she started to struggle and we actually harvested more honey from Georgia than Virginia. I actually think that Virginia had decreased in population and hadn't taken much in the way of sugar syrup to build up her winter stores. I had about given up on her and figured I would just need to order new bees for next spring.

It now looks like Virginia realized that she needed a larger population to survive the winter because lately we have seen lots of orientation flights in front of the hive. The queen is either still laying or has been laying recently even though there has been no orientation flight activity in front of Georgia for some time now. I have decided to put the feeder back on Virginia to give them the opportunity to build the stores and survive the winter if they will.

Last week I happened to notice a lot of activity and discovered that the bees were conducting orientation flights while I was working in the garden. The soil on one side of the garden is less fertile than the soil on the other side. I was moving some of the dirt around so the plants on the east side will grow and produce better than they have. As I was doing this, I got to thinking that this was kind of like redistribution of wealth- taking some good soil from some of the potato plants and giving it to others. I thought,"Is this really fair? To take from some potato plants and give to others? How will the potatoes on the west side feel about that?" But then I thought, "Well, I am the gardener and I just want all the potato plants to grow and produce well." Is this any different than what some in the federal government want to happen in our nation today? Don't they just want us all to succeed?

What is comes down to is this: I am the gardener in my potato patch. I know what I want my potato plants to look like when I am finished with them. I can cultivate them the way I want to because they are mine. When the government confiscates property (whether that be land, money, wages, or anything else that rightfully belongs to an individual) in order to transfer it to another individual, they are saying, in effect, that the property rights of some are more sacred than the property rights of others. In doing this, the government can cultivate and mold us into the individuals they want us to be and we become nothing more than a bunch of potato plants. Now, I can do this with my potato plants because they belong to me, but we do not belong to the government. The government belongs to us. Let us all stand up and declare "I will not be a potato!"

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