I Can Do It!
My interest in beekeeping started as a small wave of curiosity. I had always heard about beekeeping growing up in central texas but I never truly understood what was involved. I thought it was only available to people who had lots of land, certifications related to beekeeping or years of experience. Beekeeping stayed as an unattainable dream in the back of my head for years. As an adult, I was living in a large city in an apartment, so, at that time, it was clearly a dream.
As time moved on, the words local, raw and organic became everyday words associated with everyday food. I started to read scary stories about imported manufactured honey coming in from overseas. Stories about the diminishing honey bee population, pesticides, manicured lawns made from grasses imported from other continents. My desire to get involved with bees was growing. I knew I could learn and somehow become a beekeeper.
It was all still debatable until Christmas Eve. My husband got me a hive smoker and a bee suit. He said “Ok, here you go, now you have to figure it out, no more excuses.” That’s when my journey really began. Granted, I had a three month old baby but I was determined to get ready for the upcoming spring. Somehow I knew I had to get prepared asap. It turns out that there was a local business that offered 1 day informative classes. I signed up immediately. So on a Saturday I loaded up my breast pump and my crisp new white bee suit and headed down the highway for my first taste of beekeeping.
One day was all it took for me to be in love with beekeeping and I ordered my package of bees the same day. That gave me a deadline to obtain all my gear before the nuc delivery in the spring. I will admit, I work best under a deadline. I bought beekeeping books, searched for articles, videos and anything I could find to try and learn everything I could about beekeeping.
Everything went well with my nuc installation that April and I had a thriving hive. I was happy and I felt like I was finally doing something meaningful for honey bees. With every hive check I felt more comfortable and confident. Honestly, I was nervous before each hive check for a year. Specifically because of the monitoring involved with a nuc and I was doing something new for each season.
The most important thing to remember is that you can never know everything upfront. As with any skill or craft the best knowledge is hands on and through experience. Even after years of beekeeping, I know I don’t know everything. I welcome every opportunity to learn and improve. If sharing what I know and have experienced will help anyone, I will gladly do so.
I encourage you to take a class or spend some time with a beekeeper and give yourself the opportunity to be near the hum and buzz of a hive. The smell of honey drifting toward you as you approach a hive is intoxicating. Sitting next to hive to watch all the activity is mesmerizing. Visit a bee hive and you too will fall in love with the honey bee.