Pat here with your daily dose of fascinating but useless history trivia—on beekeeping. As a gardener, I’m painfully aware of modern problems in keeping bees alive. At the moment, we’re nurturing an avocado tree with weird fruiting habits that require lots of bees at just the right time, and we’re not having much success. Historically, farmers didn’t grow plants requiring that much fuss, but they did need bees to improve their crops, even if they didn’t know it. Mostly, though, our ancestors saw bees as a means to fill their coffers.