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Beekeeping, Books, Articles, TV and/or Rants, Honey Bees, Queen Bees, Wasps

Spring has sprung?

Beehive and witches

Beehive and witches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or so the bees thought a few days ago when we had a little spell of warm weather here. They were buzzing all over the hives, and I even caught them at some ivy blossom, just window shopping, mind you.

Glad to see them on these rare days of winter, because I can then breathe a little sigh of relief that they are well and as feisty as ever.

My mother sent me a copy of edibleBoston. No, Boston hasn’t all of a sudden become a chew toy. It’s about locally-grown and produced food and products and the Fall 2013 issue had a bit of a focus on bees. Some really interesting articles there, for example, one on a high school student who started keeping bees at 13. And this one, Edible Food Finds: Kristin McDonnell, Beekeeper, where McDonnell speaks about the keeping of at least two hives

because it’s amazing to see the differences between them. One likes to get up early in the morning. One waits until it’s warmer. One of them is really gentle and the other is a little bit more agitated. Some bees, because of their genetics, are excellent wax builders and are great at building out that white, bright comb. And then some are just a bit slower. It’s dramatic, the differences.

Amen to that. It’s hard to believe sometimes with our two that they come from the same genetic make-up on the female side. There is definitely a grouchy hive and a mellow hive, one that likes to make goofy wax creations and one that is all business, etc etc. I love the differences and think they are easier to notice when there are only two hives instead of a whole fleet of them.

Ah, edibleBoston, reading your pages does make me homesick, though.

 

And we, of course, need witches just as much as we need bees

Because whatever we think or want to believe, the fight is not over nor will it ever be.  And if you think that’s just me ranting, you might want to cast an eye over the following policy from Universities UK, the representative organization of universities in the UK, and the articles responding to it. Now, I don’t see eye to eye with Nick Cohen on everything, but he has been a better friend to women than they have sometimes been to themselves.

PS116 girls entrance. The boys go in the boys ...

PS116 girls entrance. The boys go in the boys door. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a case in point: Universities UK has produced guidance on handling external speaker events. One part of the guidance has to do with a case study where a speaker has requested that the audience be segregated according to gender. Universities UK believes they are legally bound to accommodate this request so that everyone can take part in the event. Their suggestion is that there should be areas of the venue where men sit with men, women sit with women, and then a mixed area. Universities UK thinks this part of the guidance has been blown out of proportion. Those who oppose it say that this is the thin edge of the wedge, the breaking of another law, and a denial of one of the principle tenets and values of western society. I say no one is physically prohibited from the venue, so no law is broken-where is the legality? But a law in the UK and in the US has been broken by segregating men and women in a public venue.

Ladies are not adults

Ladies are not adults (Photo credit: Eric Burgers)

And, this is one of a number of thin edges. Proof that the fight is never over. I work with younger women who are quite complacent regarding the rights they have, who laugh at my old-fashioned harping on gender-neutral language etc. Now I am not asking them to go on strike, or march in the street–simply to change their language in a quiet but firm way, and their friends will do it, and their friends, and so on and so on (well, the shampoo commercial says it works this way).

Make up your own mind. But remember, as far as I can tell anyway, there is no segregation among honey bees.  Is there?

http://blog.universitiesuk.ac.uk/2013/11/25/external-speakers-guidance-segregation/#comments

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/nick-cohen/2013/12/the-segregation-of-women-and-the-appeasement-of-bigotry/

http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2013/12/gender-difference-is-visible.html

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Spring has sprung?

  1. My wife read that on “Zeit” last night. I couldn’t believe it, so I was going to ask you about it. So now when you attend a public event do you have to sit in a ‘same gender’ area? Sounds like a Taliban law.

    Posted by solarbeez | December 5, 2013, 6:34 am
    • To be fair, it’s guidance published for UK universities in the event they have an external speaker who requests such seating arrangements. I don’t think it’s a regulation of some kind that universities must follow. Still, way to take a stand UK Universities!

      Posted by mylatinnotebook | December 5, 2013, 3:36 pm
  2. Just to be pedantic, winter brings about a rather extreme segregation by sex among honeybees. The males are made to stay outside the hive. It usually goes ill for them.

    That said, this kind of accommodation of sexist speakers is disturbing.

    Posted by theprospectofbees | December 6, 2013, 9:37 pm

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