Awhile back I talked about becoming a beekeeper rather, about you becoming a beekeeper. At the time I was seeing an increase in interest from nearly every quarter of the country, much due to the attention bees and beekeeping have received of late.
This week more than a million honey bee colonies are moving into almond orchards in California. Yet thousands remain behind in their holding yards, dead, or too weak to use. The specter of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) remains in the beeyard, haunting bees, beekeepers, and almond growers. And researchers sit on their hands, waiting to publish what they already know, and for funds so they can seek more and beekeepers know ... what? Only the tidbits youve read here, actually. Its a frustrating system, thats for sure.
Nevertheless, interest in beginning with bees continues. Many local beekeeping associations hold classes for beginners each Spring, with experienced members serving as instructors. You can learn much from books, DVDs and magazines, but after that, nothing beats looking over the shoulder of someone who knows what theyre doing to get a look at the real world of honey bees. (To find a local beekeeping association, go to Bee Culture and click on Whos Who and click on your state.
Meanwhile, check out a book or two from the library, a bookstore or the net (Amazon has a huge selection).
And if you decide this is an activity for you, take these next few steps, the first of which is ... where will you put that hive of bees? A question more difficult to answer than you may first suppose, isnt it? The backyard? A friends farm? With some other beekeepers bees at their place?
Wait, theres more. Are there zoning regulations that apply where your bees will live? You need to find out before you begin, you know.
The second question is ... What about the people nearby those close family members and friends who visit? What do they think of your new vocation? Scared to death? As excited as you are? Something in between?
The other people neighbors should be sounded out, too. Bees in your backyard, when properly managed, almost never impact nearby neighbors, but some may be nervous, others completely indifferent, and some will be glad. Calm the fears of those concerned first, or youll be at odds all the time.
Meanwhile, researchers wait for money, almond growers wait for bees, and beekeepers wait for answers.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.