Dare to challenge the authorities!

Einstein

When I was young I read a lot. Sometimes Einstein. One of the few sentences of his I understood and made impact on me was:

“To be able to make progress you have to dare to challenge the authorities”

You don’t necessarily have to challenge the authorities. But you shouldn’t hesitate if your own conclusions are different, and they rest on solid ground. Well, anyway you could be open to try them.

When I began beekeeping in 1974 bee authorities said you couldn’t cross different honey bee races, like Italians and Carniolans, without getting bad tempered bees. My first bee colony was a Midnite x Mellifera x roadcross highproducing mongrel – but very bad tempered. And immediately I was interested in breeding bees. Naturally my bees were good enough to breed from. But no such pure mating station with my type of bees existed, even if we have a lot of isolated small islands in lakes, well suited for honey bee mating stations. We had though an Italian one quite close. I challenged the authorities and got some virgin queens from my MMR-colony mated there. According to the bee authorities the worker bees in those resulting colonies would be even worse in temper. They were very much the opposite!

My scientific thinking told me one time is no time so I had to repeat the test. 6 MMRI-virgins were sent to the Buckfast mating stations in south of Sweden, the very worst I had heard of – Buckfasts. Now, the results were bathing suit colonies giving record crops. So I became a Buckfast beekeeper. But to tell the truth, no “pure” Buckfast after this experience were as good as these first Buckfast crosses of mine. But Einstein was right!