Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weekly Bee Update: Bee School

My friend, Nick , and I had been casually discussing beekeeping for a while and after a couple failed attempts we finally signed up for a beekeeping course!

The course is offered through Middlesex County Beekeepers Association, and is taught by the owner to a local honey business, Rick Reault. It consists of five two-hour classes, plus a hive visit. Unfortunately, due to the weather the class is already off schedule. So far we have attended two classes.

Here's a look at the syllabus if you're interested:

Week 1: The Bees (Queen, Workers, & Drones), Emergency, Supercedure, Swarms, Queens

Week 2: The hive setup, Location, Types, Equipment (protective clothing and tools)

Week 3: Packages, Nucs, Managing a first year hive
Week 4: Managing Pests and diseases

Week 5: Seasonal Management (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), Products of the hive (honey, wax, pollen, propolis), & Mead making

Week 6: Hive openings

On our first day we discovered that our city is the only in the county with ordinances against beekeeping. I had my suspicions since we live in an urban area, but wanted to learn anyway. Luckily, I've already had two offers from my in-laws to let me keep bees in their yards! (Mike's parents' or his cousins') They also might be able to get some used equipment for me from their neighbors. Not everything can be reused with a new hive, but anything that can be will help. Bees are more expensive than I expected. I've already reserved a package of bees for pick-up on April 20th.

After class I spent as much time outside as possible since we have three days of snow ahead. Nick, Julie, Mike, and I all went to a farmers market and then checked out a special Valentine's Day Open Studios. It was a fun day. I got some yarn for crafting and lots of yummy food so I won't get restless/hungry during the storm. Plus I have readings on bees to keep me occupied!

I hope you'll all be doing something fun indoors tomorrow.

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