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Tornado Update

tornado damage to farm march 5 2022

A tornado took my colonies and a deadout hive on March 5, 2022. That was one month ago. Since that time, I’ve had many generous people assisting me — going on-site while I was out of state to assess and make surviving colonies right, offers of splits, donations of money to cover what ELAP (Emergency Livestock Assistance Program) will not, technical assistance to USDA (FSA/ELAP) should they need guidance, etc.

What I’ve come to know in the past month is the affirmation that people are our biggest resource, the affirmation that karma is real (being a nice person pays off), and the affirmation that planning is for your own future benefit, and that paperwork is a necessary annoyance.

I’ll focus first on the people part. People were sending messages about the bees and offering and giving help while I was out of state and once I returned, I got more offers before I was ready to assess the situation. How awesome is that?

For the planning part, I have to go back a few years to the network and connections I laid out as far back as 2014 (eight years ago). The prospect of having bee hives on the roof of a church near its donation garden caused me to check on my homeowners insurance policy as it related to off-site property. I will never legally have more than two hives at my place, so this was important, and it paid off.

Lastly, the paperwork. I’ve said many times that once I heard that my hunches were more powerful when backed by data, I immediately saw the value in the idea, believed in it, and strengthened my record keeping practices. I understand why FSA needs my documentation. It’s annoying, but that’s the system and I’m choosing to interact with it.

I’m curious — have you heard of ELAP? Tell me in the comments.