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Life is Short
And you only know that as you grow older...

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)

Comments welcome!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:55 AM by carsroelke
I tried to allow comments from ANYONE.
Friday, April 15, 2011 2:44 AM by
Did he show you his bees and beehives? Sounds like a learning process. Honey is soooo expensive. Here they sell white boxes that are made for bee harvesting. There are also rules about raising bees within so many feet of population. Hope you don't have to consider that. Waiting patiently for the next episode:)
Saturday, April 16, 2011 1:19 AM by carsroelke
Thanks for your comments, WEEZIE!

The teacher's plan is to teach not simply lecturing but by doing and showing what a beekeeper does during all the important seasons of the year. Most people had their beekeeper helmets and gloves and even suits. We did not.

And, yes, there was an opportunity to ID the Queen bee (who is so important to the hive) as well as see the bees. Since I did not attend that part of the session, I can only say he was checking the hives like a shepherd examines his sheep flock. And he wore no protective clothing. When he got stung (not bitten - as bees do not bite), he was mellow about it. He demonstrates respect for the bees and says they are NOT pets - not tame-, but wild creatures who the beekeeper helps.

We learned there are several kinds of bees Some types are more docile (Italian) and some more hardy (Russian).

There is a lot of information about bees online. So a google search is worth anyones time who is interested in honey bees / beekeeping.
Thursday, April 21, 2011 10:07 PM by carsroelke
Sorry I didn't answer all your comments - weezie.

The white boxes are unfamiliar to me. I guess they could be painted white?? Not sure what that is about. I know there is more than one type of bee hive that can be used.

And I don't know the rules about where you can keep bees, although if a beekeeper mismanages the bees it could become a problem. Certainly nationwide the movement is to encourage bees to live and do their work, but not sure if that translates into automatic changes in regulations area by area.

Our teacher encouraged us to talk to neighbors and smooth the way. Also placement of the hive can be satisfactory or thoughtless (misguided).

Honey seems expensive, but it goes a long way, is healthy. I am learning that the 'expensive' vegetables are actually a bargain considering they enhance health. (A whole new way of thinking for me. And makes sense if you think about eating to enhance health instead of satisfying your palate.)
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