We get so many questions on bees and bee keeping that I thought I would do my best to answer majority of them here.
First and foremost, bee keeping was part of a 5 year plan and a “maybe” addition to our place until 2020. We were not only unsure, but uneducated on the topic.
As the year would have it, becoming bee keepers would be one of many new additions to our space.
We were playing around with the idea of bees on our farm. If not for improved pollination then for liquid gold—aka honey.
We had watched a few documentaries about global issues, commercial agriculture, and the role bees play in all of it and we just knew we wanted to be part of the solution and not continue to contribute to the problem.
A few weeks later, we got a call from a family friend who had unexpectedly caught a swarm and asked if we wanted it.
Without any hesitation, my husband said yes. Within a couple of days, we had our first hive.
We have spent hours upon hours researching how to keep bees and all that it entails, as well as, speaking and meeting with our local mentor.
We’ve had a few problems in the first 10 months of having bees such as moth larvae, etc. but overall very good success.
Yes, we have been stung. Multiple times. And occasionally on the face.
Yes, bee supplies when built correctly can be a little bit expensive.
No, bee keeping on a SMALL scale does not require a lot of extra time.
Yes, we have harvested honey but only from a rescue hive of which all the comb wouldn’t fit into our nuks.
Yes, we use the honey and beeswax for a variety of things such as tea, candles, and baking.
As spring approaches, we have high hopes for our hives this year. We are adding several flower varieties to our garden and surrounding land to increase nectar production and to provide pollen for happy bees. It turns out, they really loved the half acre of buckwheat we planted last fall. My husband and father-in-law also intend to split most (if not all) of the hives to prevent swarming as they grow and queens lay brood.
Bees are so essential to the world we live in. By keeping bees on a small scale and in our particular climate, we are able to inspect and maintain all the little details that commercial bee farms might otherwise miss. Or worse, just cut their losses and move forward.
Without bees, our world would cease to exist as we know it due the rapid decrease in pollination of species we NEED to survive.