One of the things I wanted to take on in moving to the farm was beekeeping. I love gardening and keeping bees seems like an extension of that. I’ve been preparing, having taken a beginning beekeeping class through the Madison Area Technical College in 2016. And I’ve been doing a lot of reading!
I just found the gorgeous Bees – A Natural History book at the library (by Christopher O’Toole). To brush up on my knowledge (and hopefully gain confidence!) I’m currently taking a beekeeping class with Capital Bee Supply out of Columbus, WI. This past Sunday was the first of four classes that will be spread out over the spring and summer. Each class focuses on the information needed at the time of year that it’s needed. This is a great way to learn and apply the information.
The first class focused on bee biology, an overview of a beekeeper’s year, choosing an
apiary location, types of hive equipment, races of honeybees, buying bees and more. It was a great class and I left feeling inspired and ready to begin my beekeeping adventure. It’s taken me awhile to commit to buying bees because it’s a huge responsibility. I feel though that the time is right. We have established our farm routines and I’m ready to take on a new challenge.
Yesterday I ordered my bees. Three pounds of Italian bees including a Queen. I also ordered a 10 frame deep starter hive. I’ll need to add hives as the bees progress through summer and will eventually be able to add honey hives. I don’t expect to be able to harvest honey until next year, providing everything goes well through the summer and through next winter.
The ultimate bee keeping dream (photo courtesy wikicommons.com)
I’m nervous, but excited at the same time. Like anything, once you get started and apply what you’ve learned, it doesn’t seem that bad at all. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Until next time . . .