Bee-witched

bee and flowers

My husband has permanently vetoed to my chicken coup fantasies, so I’ve moved on to a new obsession. I’ve even found myself forgoing the evening flop on the sofa with the remote and Barolo to tuck myself into bed early, ditching my red wine to curl up and read the bible, well, the The Beekeeper’s Bible — hey, it’s a step up from 50 Shades of Grey, right?

Bees? Bees. What started out as a little buzz in my brain has grown to a constant hum. The biggest reason for the interest-turned-obsession is this book. Seriously, it’s the best comprehensive resource of all things bee that I have ever found.  It’s loaded with history, beekeeping practices, bee garden ideas and yes, amazing recipes. If I can’t have fresh eggs then why not fresh honey?

I hope you will come along for the adventure as I research, plan and test the waters in the world of hives. The bible says to start a hive in the winter months, so this is probably the most prepared I’ve been for anything. Ever.

Any beekeepers out there with some tips for an enthusiastic amateur?

bee bible

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10 thoughts on “Bee-witched”

Merryl beat me to it – he’s my neighbor so I second her suggestion and offer! We have only been his neighbor for a year and are just finishing our first summer garden season next to a beekeeper and our yields have been OFF THE CHARTS! Bees really do make an amazing and beautiful difference.

We have a bazillion bees here in Wisconsin, lots of bee hives locally, so iIcan get great local honey at the Amish store. I was tempted to try myself, but after reading about the diseases bees can get, i gave it up. I enjoy all the different bees, my little helpers in the gardens, the never sting, too busy gathering pollen!

Hi Val, Your Grand -Father in Belgium tended to Bee ‘s for most of his life time. He would have those cases in back of the yard.
He would sometimes wear nets around his head!!! (like a safari hunter!!) And a hail of bee’s flying around him,
Mostly he did not wear the head gear and did not care ………….. just got his hands in it , and pull out the honey combs…. I stayed far away, because it
scarred the be…j…ee…sy’s ……..out of me! Will try to get more info for you!!!
I did love the honey he set on our table!

I’m from a beekeeping family that has been caring for bees for 106 continuous years. The time to start a hive is not in the winter, but in the spring, when you can furnish your shiny new bee equipment with freshly hatched bees from the natural excess that hives naturally produce in the spring. I’ll get a copy of the Beekeepers Bible (don’t like the title, however) and read it, but I’d like to suggest the ABC and XYZ of Beekeeping as a more authoritative source of information.

Laurel,

Thanks for the advice! I’ll look up that other beekeeping book, too. Glad we found each other.

Cheers!
Val

We were the fortunate recipients of mentoring by the above said beekeeper. We procured the proper equipment and set it up in the backyard like expectant parents with an empty bassinet. Then, during Easter brunch 5 years ago, with my family all sitting outside, we got to see the bees arrive. There were a few bees at first and then a huge cloud of bees which relatively quickly ensconced themselves into their new home. They were all moved in within about 15 minutes and we have had “the girls” ever since. Backyard beekeeping is interesting, satisfying and good for all.

We just harvested our honey and pulled out 130 pounds, leaving the bees with 100 pounds or so to get through the winter with. Once a year we host a honey tasting with other beekeeper friends. We gather honey from all over the world during the year and people bring us exotic honey when they travel (Black Forest honey, Manuka honey, Cuban honey) and then we let people taste the difference between our honey and our friends’ honey, which are only made about 3 miles apart.

We have chickens, too. They are technically “my” project and the bees are my husband’s project. I joke that he has the smart ones. Bees are infinitely fascinating and do such good work!

Jody,

That’s great to hear that you’ve had such success with your “girls.” That’s an impressive amount of honey you harvest from the bees and your honey tasting parties sound like a lot of fun! Glad to have met another bee enthusiast, hopefully I’ll have my own hive soon.

Cheers!
Val

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