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In April of 2011, I started a new hobby, Bee Keeping! After Ben and I took a beginner bee keeper class through the Gaston County Bee Keeper Association we decided to invest. Yes, you heard me, Investment!! Bee keeping is not an inexpensive hobby.
None the less, bees have always been intriguing to me. Allergic to bees as a child, I now find it fascinating to open up a hive and begin handling thousands of bees. We began our hobby with 3 nuc hives and ended the year with one surviving hive. Losing 2 hives was a little discouraging, however, I have a lot to learn about keeping bees… their habits, diseases, queen raising and when they get robbed by other bees. Things you really only learn through years of keeping bees.
I am always open to advice, so if you are a fellow apiarist send me some tips on how to start right in year 2!
We will add at least 2 more in 2012 if not more. You can get lost for an afternoon just watching a hive. Guard bees sit at the entrance to the hive to protect it from intruders. Worker bees travel in and out of the hive all day gathering pollen and nectar. They travel through the hive making deposits and honey. When it is too hot in summer, you can hear the hive humming and many bees sitting on the “porch” of the hive, a phenomenon they call “bearding”. You can sit and watch the comings and goings of the hive………much like watching airplanes come and go at the airport.
So far this winter, we have fed them twice to ensure they have enough to eat in the winter. On my last visit to inspect the hives most of the bees were clumped in the middle of the hive. This is their way of keeping warm.
While our one surviving hive did not produce any extra honey in 2011, we are expecting it to produce this year!! Some sweet profit to my investment.
See if you can find one of my queen bees in this picture….
Living the Good Life,
- So What Have We Learned? (honeybeesandme.com)
- Introducing our bees (kanddfamilyfarm.wordpress.com)
- Letter Re: Keeping Honey Bees for Survival (survivalblog.com)