Sunday, April 29, 2012

Backyard Beekeeping

This weekend's workshop here at Little City Farm was an introductory session on "backyard beekeeping".  We had a local 5th generation beekeeper come to facilitate, discussing the various aspects of beekeeping - getting started (equipment, space, sourcing bees, setting up the bee boxes); trouble shooting (identifying queen cells, watching for swarms, moisture issues, treating for mites, natural approaches to bee health, winter care); harvesting honey (when to remove frames, using extractors, when to use a smoker, what to wear when working with bees)...there is so so much to learn, many more questions to ask, and all seems quite daunting to get started.  However, the world of bees is also entirely fascinating - how each bee has it's valuable role, how organized and efficient and hardworking they are, how tidy in repairing their comb and keeping the hive clean, how well they can communicate with each other, and then how this gorgeous amazing honey is created. During this workshop we all built a frame to practice at least one "hands-on" part of the process, and of course enjoyed tasting delicious honeycomb and goldenrod honey!

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