Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A good old Finny rant. Bee-themed though!

For those of you who haven't wandered into this particular void of weirdness in your own lives, let me tell you that attempting to establish yourself as a legitimate beekeeper in the city of San Jose, CA is about as bureaucratic and GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF MY POCKETS as possible.

Example, you ask?

I have to pay FOUR different fees in exchange for ZERO services. These FOUR fees are for the empty rewards of filling out an application ($60), receiving an inspection by two overworked Animal Services folks who have no idea why anyone would want a hive of bees in their yard ($70), receiving a permit scribbled in little girl handwriting on a duplicate receipt pad ($60 again) and registration with the county's agricultural commission which amounts to a big fat lot of nothing ($10).

My thought is that the county is really not at all interested in managing a bunch of beekeepers, so they make the process as expensive and ridiculous as possible so that those who do comfortably circumvent the law will just go about their bee business and leave them the hell out of it and those who don't want to break the law and have to possibly dispense of 3,000 stinging insects are going to really take the whole process in the bum.

Me though? I'm a rule follower. Yes, it's true. Mrs. I Swear and Drink and Make Lewd Comments on the Internets is a By-The-Book gal.

Only because of recourse, you see. I don't ever want something as stupid as a rule in a book coming back to bite me on the ass. I like to be right ALL THE TIME and one can really quickly lose their RIGHTness if someone can just point to a rule in a book and be like, "Oh yeah, but what about this?"

I don't want that. And, in the case of my bees, I don't want my shitty neighbors - for instance - getting peeved at the bees and calling in Animal Services because I didn't follow the rules.

Have I mentioned that part of my desire to be right ALL THE TIME is my desire to also flaunt my RIGHTness in the faces of those who dare doubt my RIGHTness? It's true.

I've already thought about the moment when someone gives me beef for having a beehive (though most of my neighbors are CRACKED OUT with excitement over it. Really.) and then threatens to *do* something about it, only to find me waving my permit in their fucking faces.

Yes. I'm also sometimes confrontational.

Anyway, whatever. This was just a post to tell you guys that I'm in the final stages of securing my permit just as soon as the fourth governing body of this county or city or creek bed or whatever gives me their handwritten-in-crayon blessing on another pre-printed triplicate form from Officemax and I'm really effing stoked about it - once I get past the fact that I'm paying out of the nose and tripping over red tape right now.

Because on 4/7 3,000 new fuzzy friends arrive and they will have a legitimate home and a lot of vegetables to work on.


  1. Who knew bees were such a pain in the ass? When we had to pull a half dead tree out of our yard, the permit was $110 to remove it. The fine was $10. I took my chance.

  2. Excited, as always, to hear about your bee adventures. Just the other day my bee-hating husband told me he was rethinking his ban on backyard bees. Fortunately, I've already looked into it and there doesn't seem to be any permits required to keep bees in my city.

  3. LOL too funny! I didn't know you had to have a permit for bees. I was at a meeting for work the other day and there was a guy there from the farm bureau talking about farm theft. He said the new thing is that people are stealing the queen bees out of the hives. Can you believe that craziness? I'm thinking it would have to be another bee keeper, who else would chance such a thing?

  4. You need to move to an agricultural zone. Then you could do anything without a permit. Like, dump toxic chemicals into the water table and create shit lagoons for your neighbors to enjoy. For example.

    Anyway, I think it's probably less about the beekeeping for the county and more about the cash money. Little fees like that add up to a lot of revenue and are an easy way for legislators to raise money without inciting the rage of the majority of the population. America at its finest.

  5. You should move to Florida. We just have a $10 inspection fee annually.

  6. You know, you are now my official rightness scapegoat. Next time anyone gives me grief over following the rules and tries to tell me that no one does it, I'm going to turn to them with righteous indignation, point my pudgy finger at their chest and say, "Oh yeah? Well, FINNY does! So SUCK it!"

  7. You just paid $200 to have an official document that says you're RIGHT! I'd be willing to pay more than that if I could get one pertaining to other areas of my life. Somebody (anybody) argues with me about anything... I just whip out the paper (signed in triplicate) stating the fact that WENDY IS RIGHT. Because I usually am. Most people just don't know (or admit) it.

  8. Sara - Yeah, and people are worried about being stung. They SHOULD be worried about being robbed - by local government. Meanwhile, I would have made the same choice with the tree. Our situation is reversed, fee wise, which is why we went with getting the permit.

    Alisha - From what I recall, you live in the Land of Enchantment, so obviously it's a wonderful place that is happy for you to have bees at no extra charge. Do it!

    Mom Taxi - Uh, yeah. I can't imagine a non-beekeeper even being able to distinguish a queen bee from the other thousands of bees, and that is all very fucked up. I double dare someone to go mucking about in my hive.

    Kris - In the case of California, that is absolutely the case. We're broke (as are most states now, I suppose) and EVERYTHING has a fee. If they could enact a Looking at a Tree Fee, they would.


    Corvus - Or I should move two cities north where they have NO fees whatsoever. And you can have as many hives as you want and no one says boo. Stupid San Jose.

    Moonstruck - Amen, sister - let us rule followers UNITE! And when other people get effed because of some stupid rule loop hole that they ignored they'll bow down to us.

    Which, really, is the point of it all, non?

    Wendy - PRECISELY.

    Like Moonstruck said - I'm right and you CAN SUCK IT.

    Having a paper that says so is worth the $$$.


  10. So, I'm behind in reading and this means that HOLY MOTHER you now have an additional 3,000 pets.
    I love it.
    I will be coming to you for advice when I become the "crazy lady who sells vegetables and eggs at the Golden Farmer's Market." I've decided that's going to be my new thing.
    Eggs. For sale.
    Want to bring honey to my booth?


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.