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Life is Short
And you only know that as you grow older...
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Why Aren't We Blogging on Copper.net?
I wonder why it seems that no one blogs here lately?  I use to enjoy checking out the current entries - though few.  Some were to my taste, some not.  But usually there were some current ones, and some that inspired comments or encouragement.

Ads, religious dogma, and (lately) politics are not appreciated by this reader.  I know, I know.  They are really important topics.  To all of us.  But we share a common ability to hear all the comments and slants we like -- already.  Expert!  Well spoken.  Not always that convincing - especially if we have our mind made up. Even if we haven't.   

I hope that the 'powers that be' here on copper.net will continue to strive for the best online experience.  That includes a friendly environment for blogs/comments. 

Beekeeping - Lesson 2

On the 30th of April, we attended our next lesson on beekeeping.   A friend ask me if bumble bees, yellow jackets, or other bees make honey.  My answer was that no - I do not believe they do.  Just the lowly little 'honey bee'.

As teens my husband and I attended high school together.  It was nice for us to learn to be beekeepers together (again).  Our classmates were similar to us although not all the same ages.  After all these years we are classmates again.  It was lovely.

Swarms are bees that go off to make another hive.  The Queen bee has laid baby queens for the original hive.  Then she decides to go off with many of the workers and start a new hive.  That's what swarming is - starting a new hive.

After she leaves -- the remaining bees care for and feed the nursery queens until the first one is born.  That queen bee finishes off the others and takes over as QUEEN bee. 

Many swarms do not survive for various reasons.  Beekeepers like to attract a swarm if they can. 

There are three kinds of bees in every live hive:  The QUEEN, DRONES, WORKERS.  The drones are the 'husbands' and after they provide the genetic material for a new hive full of bees, they die.  The queen bee continues to lay eggs throughout her lifetime.  I think the workers don't have a long life span. 

There are various kinds of bee hives man uses.  One uses boxes added ontop of another box with 8 to 10 removable frames inside.  It can have several boxes or just two.  This hive is easier to check the bees, and remove the honey.  It can also be shifted around so that the hive will make more honey, instead of swarming (partly) because there is no more room to make honey. 

Another type is called Top Bar hive.  It is simpler and easier to build and therefore more popular for the handyman. 

Bees, of course, can hive inside a tree cavity too, but for the purpose of beekeeping this would require destroying the hive and the bees to collect the honey.  So that's why man provides a different home for the bees. 

Bees are very independent.  They decide whether they will accept their new home.  Swarming is when the bees leave to start a new hive, but they leave part of the bees behind.  Absconding is when the bees decide they aren't going to live in this hive and they ALL leave.

Please note:  If you are a beekeeper and there's something incorrect from your experience, please comment.  I am just learning.

Beekeeping Links - Peace Corps

I found an especially interesting link on beekeeping, so I thought I might share it here for those interested:

Small Scale Beekeeping

Written by Curtis Gentry

in December 1982


Beekeeping - Lesson 1

Beekeeping class went well.  We all sat in folding chairs in a large beekeeping garage.  There were over 30 people including my husband and I.  Many were pros or already keeping bees and wanting to learn more.  We are so-called 'new-bees'.  :o)   Nope - never had a hive, may never have one. 

The teacher is a fine fellow full of facts and encouragement, answering questions as they came up (which I appreciate since questions fade if not addressed at the time). 

Did you know that some beekeepers serve the farming community?  Yes, they do!  Our teacher, for example, sells honey and other bee products.  But he also takes hives to the growing community to ensure a good crop.  Amazing, isn't it?  I never knew that - but I must say we see very few bees around our home this last year or so.  It makes sense. 

One thing I learned is that going up a (very) steep hill to the hives was really beyond me.  I huffed and puffed back to the car to grab a book and rest a bit.  My sweetie braved the bees and attended the hands on part of the training.

I loved it!  We got a 5 lb jar of honey before we left for $20 minus the jar fee (we brought one back) that became $17.50.

Next lesson is April 30...  (later)


Today we go to Beekeeping Lesson 1.  We never kept bees, but now we will be learning about it.  Possibly we will take the leap and get started. 

It's a series of 'hands-on' lessons that will last over the summer.  Theory is we will learn by doing and get experience with all the seasons of beekeeping.  At the introductory lesson (last month) we had an overview. 

One thing that makes me especially interested is that bees are disappearing (Colony Collapse) in large numbers.  One day the beekeeper returns to the hive and the bees are just GONE!  The reason is still unclear although there are several notions unproven.  Danger is that we NEED bees to pollinate the crops and fruits or there will be NO food.

I'll post back after our lesson and let you know how it goes and what we learned.  Maybe I'll even have a photo or two?!

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