Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hanging with Bees


I was hanging with bees on Sunday, literally.  I have been thinking about bee keeping for a while, and on Sunday I took the first step towards that goal by attending a bee keeping workshop.  The workshop was held by a local bee keeper, at his home, in a beautiful country setting. He and his wife created for us a wonderful day of learning about bees, experiencing first hand working with bees, enjoying delicious homemade food from their garden, making honey and inspiring me to take the next step towards my goal of becoming a bee keeper.

The day was so full, in a good way. Ian of The Bee Man answered all our questions, even the silly ones. We were a small group of ten, all of us interested in becoming bee keepers.  We laughed, we played with bees, we tasted royal jelly, bee pollen and honey fresh from the hives and we left with confidence to take the next step on our journeys. 

Let me share a bit of our day with you:

Hello little bees :)

The Bee Man smoking the hive so we can take a peek inside.

A peek inside

Beautiful

Taste testing some fresh bee pollen...way better than the dried stuff

Checking out a frame from the hive

Checking out the other side

Checking out the bees

Bees were everywhere

My friend Elizabeth is pointing out the Queen bee larva, there are three of them in this picture

And there's another one on the left hand side

Can you spot the Queen? Hint she has a white paint spot on her head :)

Brushing off the bees so we can harvest some honey

Ready to harvest!

Ian opening up all the combs so the honey can be harvested

My lovely jar of honey, and yes it is delish!

I am really excited to take the next step which is getting our hive and bees. We can do this now, so the bees will have time to establish themselves to make it through the winter. Or we can wait until spring to get started.  Justin and I are still discussing when we will get started. He wants to take a little drive up to Ian’s and check out the hives and the bees, so I think we will try and do that early next week and then make our decision.

Either way, I will be a bee keeper soon, maybe very soon.

20 comments:

  1. I think that is so cool! I wanted to keep bees, but can't do where we currently live...just another thing to add to the wish list once I have everyone in college.

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  2. What fun! Steve gifted me with two bee keeping books yesterday and I'm looking forward to join a class after I move. thanks for sharing.

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    1. It was! What books did you get? I decided not to do an reading before I attended the workshop, so now I am looking for some good reads. Please share :)

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  3. What a cool experience. I find bees to be endlessly fascinating and am thankful to you for sharing your experiences. I look forward to hearing more as you travel along on your beekeeping journey.

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    1. It was awesome!! I look forward to sharing more as we get going.

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  4. My grandpa ran a bee farm with his brother when I was growing up. I'm very jealous you're getting some. They're illegal where we live (not that that would stop me really) but also our backyard is too cool and shady for them to be happy. Have lots of fun, Kim. Bees are amazing.

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    1. That is great! And yes they do need sun, or they get very lazy. We will have fun, and I will share it too!

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  5. This is so very special...you look like a natural! I bet the honey tastes even sweeter now that you were part of the process.

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    1. Awe, thanks! You know, it really does. I am not a big honey fan, but this honey, well I love it :)

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  6. Great shots - looks like a great opportunity. We're loving our bees and hoping we're doing everything right!

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    1. Thanks! It was a great opportunity for sure. I was a little nervous to get bees without having some experience behind me. I put a little message out letting people know I was looking for someone to mentor me this summer and someone told me about this workshop...it was perfect.

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  7. how exciting! i'm always amazed when i look at everyone's bee pictures... they are awesome little creatures! and i love trying out different honey- my mom just bought me some buckwheat honey from a farm in upstate new york and it has such a unique flavor to it!

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    1. They are totally awesome, and after spending the day with them I am in love.

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  8. How incredibly exciting! You didn't wear beekeeping garb just in case? You are brave. Now you've got me thinking about seeing if there's a local beekeeper in the area who would do the same. Something to put on my future to-do list!

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    1. It really was. I did have a hat, but it was hot and hard to see, so I just put the mesh up over my head in case I needed to pull it down quickly. The bees were really nice, only stung the bee keeper three times and no one else got stung.

      I bet you will find one, from my experience with farmers, bee keepers, chicken keepers...they love to share their knowledge and expertise with those of us who want to learn :)

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  9. I love that the class was full of women. :) maybe there is a little bit of bee keeper in all of us ladies. :) Can't wait to hear more about your upcoming adventures with the bees!!!!

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    1. Haha, there were actually two men, one had to leave early and the other one didn't want to be in the picture :) We had a great time. I will be sharing our adventures for sure.

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  10. Our neighbor has several hives, and it's so fun to watch her! What a great day!! Can't wait to hear what you decide! :)

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    1. They are amazing creatures. I think we are waiting until spring to get started. Just too many unknowns about getting them through the winter. So we will wait, read and maybe take a few trips up to this lovely place to visit the bees.

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