This page is dedicated to honeybees and beekeeping in general. Beekeeping has been around for thousands of years in fact some of the oldest cave paintings in France depict beekeeping and the collection of honey. Honey has been mentioned and even revered as far back as the Bible and was once paid to the Roman soldiers as a currency for their service. The Vikings made Mead which is a honey wine. I have had Mead and even made it myself and if like honey I invite you to try to make some.
I find the honey bee a wonderful insect and it is extremely fascinating how something so small and tiny pollinates most of all the crops in the world and then converts this pollen and nectar to delicious golden honey.
Honey has a myriad of uses and is considered a superfood. It has antiseptic qualities as no bacteria can grow on so it can be used as an antiseptic for cuts and scrapes. It can be used in cooking as a direct substitute for sugar and if you’ve ever had honey straight from the hive there is nothing quite like it.
I started out two years ago beekeeping and throughout this website I will chronicle my successes and failures in beekeeping. I hope to educate people for maybe a novice like me and who wants a point of view from an novice where they can relate and perhaps even take a beekeeping themselves.
You may have thought about beekeeping and wondered where to start. We let me tell you that was me 2 years ago. I decided to get into beekeeping after I read about the demise of the honey bees and the phenomena of Colony Collapse Disease or CCD for short.
I have always found bees to be fascinating and when I was a kid my grandfather had several beehives on our farm that he would tend to and I got to watch him from afar as my mother worried about me getting stung. I must admit I worried about that as well but I would keenly watch my grandfather tend the bees by carefully pulling out each frame as he inspected them looking for the honey and making sure the bees we’re healthy.
So I purchased my first batch of bees in what they call a box of bees from a local bee guy, which consisted of a queen bee and thousands of bees. I also purchased a beehive on the Internet and set myself up for the sweet rewards of beekeeping. I installed the bees and I inspected them every couple of weeks watching the hive grow larger and larger and then in late summer they started producing honey and I was very excited. Little did I know two weeks later the hive had swarmed and I had hardly any bees left. Almost all my bees had left, how rude I thought!
I had read about this in all the books that I’ve gotten prior to getting the bees so I was devastated and I even searched for my bees but to no avail I could not find them. I did find that there was some more queens in the hive and the hive kept growing so I thought I would be okay. I just wouldn’t have any honey for myself. Then fall turned into winter and the hive did not get large enough to survive the cold Minnesota winter
So spring of the next year came and this time I bought a 3 frame nuc which is a mini beehive of sorts. It consists of 3 frames already with the queen bee, some worker bees, and brood. This did very well and grew very large and I managed to get some honey from the hive that fall and I left the rest for the bees to have during the winter. However, in November we had an extremely bitter cold snap it got to-20°! I was rest assured though with the honey stores in the hive that my bees would be okay. December came and it warmed up enough or me to look at the bees again I was devastated to found that the bees had ate all of the honey during that cold snap and had all died! I felt horrible that I failed and let my bees die.
This spring I bought two eight frame nucs and started two beehives and within a month I found out that there was no queens in the nucs I had purchased! So I had to purchase some more queens and I hope that the hive will continue to grow.
The one thing I can recommend any newbie beekeeper is to find an organization or a mentor who will help you learn beekeeping. I thought all you had to do was buy a beehive and then get the honey in the fall I was mistaken to find out that there is much more beekeeping than that. I have since found a neighbor close to me who graciously accepted to mentor me in beekeeping. I have also decided to join my local beekeeping club and I hope to learn a great deal from both sources.
So I invite you to stay in touch as I chronicle my exploits in beekeeping! I hope to continue to grow with more hive every year and I will share that everything with you.
Till then God Bless friends and we’ll Gobble at ya later!