I have had an intense and irrational fear of bees for my entire life, and have always hated them. Thank you r/beekeeping for showing me how important bees are, that they are not murderous monsters, and for changing my world view. Save the bees!
My fear of bees is totally unfounded. I did not have bad experiences with bees in the past, although I have had some bad run ins with hornets and wasps (but who hasn't?). Still, I grew up absolutely terrified of them. Even seeing a picture of a bee could make me break out in a rash or hives, and I once went into full blown panic attack when I encountered a dead bee in my car.
Somewhat recently, I stumbled upon a video of a beekeeper and his vlogs on my recommended page on youtube. I don't know what caused me to click on it, given that even seeing the things could send me into a tailspin, but I guess I was feeling feisty that night. Maybe I was secretly hoping he would get stung and it would prove me fears right. Before I knew it, I was watching his 7th or 8th video, and became fascinated by the art of beekeeping. All of the tricks and tools and science behind it. How gentle the beekeeper was with his hives, and how truly docile they seemed to be compared to what I thought bees acted like. I fell down a rabbit hole and came across other beekeepers who mentioned r/Beekeeping. I have now been reading your posts on this sub for many months, and subscribe to at least 10 different beekeepers on youtube. Thanks to your posts and these creators, I've learned about the truly important roles bees play in our world, and how we would be totally FUBAR without them.
I still cannot control my emotions around bees, if I come across them irl I still run away screaming, but I now know that if I find a swarm or hive in my backyard, I can call a beekeeper who will happily come take care of them, instead of trying to eradicate them. I've even started eating honey that I buy from keepers at farmers markets, and its delicious! I don't think I will *ever* be able to be around bees, as I think my gut reaction to them is sadly ingrained in my flight or fight response for the rest of my life. But at least I can help save the bees from afar by supporting local efforts and beekeepers. I'm definitely trying to work on my reactions to them when I encounter them irl now, and I hope I can even visit beekeepers hives in person to learn more some day. It really is a truly fascinating art.
Thank you to all you beekeepers out there no matter how big or small for all you do, and for those who try to change people like me's minds about bees in our society. I really appreciate you and the work you do.