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.