Friends frequently ask me , “What happens to your bees in the winter?” What happens is an epic struggle to keep the bees alive. Some people say you aren’t a beekeeper until you get your first hive full of bees through the winter. If you buy new bees every year because your bees from the previous year died, then you aren’t really beekeeping. If you are a skilled beekeeper, your bees should have a better chance of survival than “the bees in the trees” also known as feral honey bees.
Christmas is just around the corner, and many of you may have started thinking about what to buy your friends and family for Christmas. If you have a beekeeper on your list, I am here to help you. Continue reading
People love to ask questions when they find out that we started keeping bees. One of the most common questions is, “When will you start selling honey?” That question is usually followed by the comment, “Local honey is really expensive. You can make a lot of money.” In our part of the Midwest, local honey sells for anywhere between $8 and $12 for a 1 pound bottle, and those prices are typically set by hobby beekeepers who sell mostly at places like farmers markets. If you read my previous blog post, you will know that hobby beekeepers aren’t getting rich on their honey. The question that people should be asking is, “Why is the grocery store honey so cheap?” The answer to that question will probably shock you. Continue reading
Beekeeping has changed me. I have never been good at observing what is happening around me. I am the person who doesn’t notice that someone has new glasses, a new haircut, or an amputated limb. Months usually pass before I realize a building along my commute has been demolished. I become deeply engrossed in my thoughts and miss what is going on around me, but the bees are changing me. Now I pay attention to flutters in the grass because the movement could be caused by bees on clover. Weather forecasts suddenly hold my interest. I notice the progression of wildflower blooms because wildflowers feed the bees. The fact that bees make me more aware of the natural world may not come as a surprise, but this new sense of awareness has also spilled over into other aspects of my life including my reading of the Bible. Until I began keeping bees, I never realized how frequently honey and bees are mentioned in the Bible. Continue reading