13 January 2013

Beekeeping Fun

I'm still regrouping after the holidays, so I'm re-posting an older post that some of you may not have seen.  Enjoy the slideshow and I hope to have brand-new posts in the next week.

Recently Kristen French invited me to her house to get a better look at her bee hives. Ever since reading her blog, The Queen Bee, I've been fascinated by them - even wanting some myself. This was my opportunity to learn more about them and become more comfortable in close proximity to them,
I'm not spooked by the random bee, but I was a little apprehensive around several hives, mostly because I haven't spent any time around large numbers of them. I wanted to get as close as I could without getting stung. Kristen was very cautious with us around the bees. "Us" included Ella, who irrationally feared bees, and Kristen's daughter, who, at six years old, knows more about bees than I do.

Once the hive in her back yard was open, I was able to get a better look and saw it overflowing with beeswax and honey. Kristen left the top upside down on the ground so the bees could reclaim the honey and wax left on it.

She opened up her two other hives to inspect them as well. They were still storing honey, but she wanted to make sure they had enough honey for the winter. In late summer she had harvested, something like fifty pounds of honey from the hives. The bees in one of the hives in the front yard were easily angered, so we didn't get a good look at those.

The visit to Kristen's hives was very enlightening, and it made me want to get bees even more. Kristen mentioned that if she divided her hives in the spring, she could help me set up a hive at our house. It was tempting, but I needed to know more about bees first. After Christmas, the Charleston Area Beekeepers Association announced a beginning beekeeping class for this weekend. I signed up, but I needed to get the time off of work first. After I really thought about it, I decided it needed to wait. I had enough uncompleted projects around the yard that needed my attention, and it turns out I was unable to get the time off from work. When I got an email about the class, they mentioned bringing your veil and smoker, etc. I don't have any of those, so it's best that I wait. I'll put it on the calendar for next year.

For a photo slideshow of my bee experience, click here.


Steve and Jillian said...

I have always wanted bees as well, but since I have chickens, I wonder if this would cause a conflict, as they seems to be insect assassins in their spare time. As you also have chickens, how do you feel about this?

Jenion said...

I never thought about that. My idea for bees came before my idea for chickens. Still, where I was planning to put the bees would have kept them safe from chickens.

I follow a couple of chicken blogs and one, TillysNest.com , recently got bees. She writes a post about how well they go together and that people put their beehives on top of the chicken coops and the chicken eat the dead bees on the ground.

I don't know a lot about it, but if people have been doing it for a long time...

Steve and Jillian said...

Thanks! Good to know that it works for other folks! I suppose the bees would just learn to stay less than 3 feet off the ground! :)

Anonymous said...

Great Post Jenion! Love those Bees!