Monday, June 2, 2014

Keeping bees


Honey comb
      It's official. I am a bee keeper!  Ever since we moved away from the city and into the country, I am longed to have a big garden and keep bees.  When talking about my desire for bees, people either look at me like I am crazy and say, "Why?" or smile and talk about their own bee keeping stories. 

  The route of my obsession is partly due to environmental concerns with declining bee populations and wanting to feel like I am helping. We are already focusing on buying local and organic whenever possible (at least until our garden cornucopia is bountiful), but this was just one more thing. Another big contributing factor is our family's move towards self sufficiency. I think that is what helped get my husband on this bee train. Although I doubt we will ever completely homestead, there are huge benefits to having a supply of local honey. 
Brood comb

  With the help of my husband and our friend and seasoned bee keeper, Rick,
two top bar hives were constructed.  Bees were ordered in January and delivered in April.  With Rick's support I have been checking the hives once a week just to monitor the bees and make sure the hives are working just the way they should.   I have to say the experience has been really exciting and rewarding. It has been so amazing for the last couple months to observe the hives.   The intricate precise work that honeybees do is astonishing. Just look at a comb!  
Busy bees

Perfect honey comb soon to be capped

   Altough I am really excited for the honey, especially after sampling a taste last week, the process of keeping bees has been the most rewarding part.  I find the way the hive works together and how each has a role to make everything run smooth truly fascinating.   It has been really stress free, probably because I have an experienced bee keeper helping me at each step. 

  So what do you think?  Am I nuts for keeping bees?  Or would you love to try it yourself?

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