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.
Millions of Americans are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the grocery stores are bracing themselves for the onslaught of customers. The fact that hundreds of millions of people in the US can eat a meal that consists of roughly the same menu on the same day is a miracle of modern agriculture as well as a testament to good supply chain management at that nations’ grocery stores. Have you ever considered how your Thanksgiving meal is impacted by bees? Many of your Thanksgiving favorites would not make it to the table without the pollination services provide by bees. 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
Rarely does a person’s expectation match reality. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if one is willing to adjust their thinking once reality hits. I still love beekeeping, but over the last few weeks, I realized that I needed to start making some mental adjustments if I was going to become a successful beekeeper. Continue reading