i’m looking at the end of 2020 and i experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly. in reverse order, i’ll review the negative first (for beekeeping and personal).
the ugly. bees: the coronovirus left my vendor without a farmers market stand. my purchased bees did not contribute to honey production. personal: no weekly potlucks with my kids. virtual church. i went through mourning (i am not kidding one bit about this).
the bad. bees: last year, des moines community ed closed, leaving me with agent-less as a community ed beekeeping instructor. personal: my van needed A LOT of work done. my friend and i weren’t able to continue quarterly get-togethers with our classmates.
the good. bees: johnston community ed took me in. i had a third year of hybrid virtual classes for weather, sickness, and child care and all went reasonably well. my vendor pivoted and found different ways to sell my honey. I also found a potential new market / special event. i attended numerous beekeeper talks that are possible only online. personal: i made the last replace/repair on the van for a long time. *fingers crossed* i renewed and cultivated many friendships. friend development was a goal i set four or five years ago. i have no intent to quit.
overall bees: i didn’t have the beekeeping season i had planned. colonies that survived our iowa winter really helped. to stay humble and relate to my students, i continue to get at least one package per year; this year’s package queen happened to be a flop. i picked up swarms, got a flop of a nuc, but picked up another decent nuc and reared a decent queen. The bees stayed on well-stewarded land and I sold out my specialty lavender honey.
in addition to new beekeeping students, i was able to share beekeeping (and alpacas) with my youngest child, a new friend, and a fellow board member and his friend.
overall personal: once small meetings were allowed in-person at church, i joined a new group and ended up adding a short journal exercise to my morning practice of daily liturgy of the word. this journal has four boxes for a bible verse (which I take from the daily readings), stuff i want to work on, thankfulness, and prayer requests. i also left the group with a weekly mass journal. since the group ended right before thanksgiving and is a weekly practice, not daily, i haven’t a firm opinion on it yet.
it seems like the years of group and individual therapy have put me in a very good mindset to deal with a pandemic and a derecho. when i leave my group calls and networking events, i feel like i’m doing really well compared to others. i also think i have grown a lot through an extremely affordable financial education and investment program designed for women.