Bees! I hate bees. I’m partially convinced by the position of the environmentalist lobby that bees somehow contribute to the good of all humanity. That being said, we should recognize that pollination but like global warming, evolution, and gravity, is a THEORY meaning that it may or may not be true. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, and all that.
At the same time, I’ve become interested in the use of marginal landscapes in the Western Argolid for bee keeping, and keep my eye out for evidence of these practices on the Western Argolid Regional Project.
On Monday, we encountered a bee keeping complex on the northern slope of the Inachos valley above the village of Lyrkeia. There was evidence for long term olive cultivation and the neglected remains of broad terraces serve as reminders of grain cultivation.
Today, however, the olives are mostly neglected and the grain has gone wild, but bees continue to be kept and honey harvested. There were a few active hives near the compound (I didn’t get too close!), but it looked like the area was mostly used for the preparation of hives with bee food, broken down hives, and various storage containers in evidence.
The compound was filled with empty bee hives, metal lined covers, and the metal racks where the honey comb develops. The wood on many of these abandoned hives is beginning to rot, but the metal frames and hinges will stay behind long after the wood disappears.
The Inachos river is another marginal landscape. It is seasonal and during the dry summer months, it serves as a road, dumping ground, and temporary apiary!
Further up on the slopes, discarded be hives litter an open field. The frames in some were intact, although the metal lined covers had been largely removed.
I suppose in a few years, when all the bees are gone, all we’ll have left to show their impact on these marginal landscapes will be scraps of metal.