It’s a new year and new opportunities!
Why now come on out and learn how fun and easy it is to keep honey bees. Be the envy of your neighbours!
We love to share what we know with others. We love to see more people falling in love with nature and all its intricacies. We love watching people’s eyes and hearts light up as they share their experiences with bees.
With that in mind, we are again offering our day long Intro to Sustainable Beekeeping course. The first course date is just a few weeks away on Jan 26th. There will also be a second Intro course date of Feb 23rd.
Telling the bees is a tradition dating back to Medieval times, a member of a community was designated as a messenger to visit the apiaries to relay to the bees significant events in the lives of the community nearby. It is still thought by some farmers that when a beekeeper dies someone must tell the hives of her death and introduce them to their new keeper. Otherwise, the story goes, you risk offending the bees and giving them reason to swarm or abscond.
“Marriage, birth, or burying,
News across the seas,
All your sad or marrying,
You must tell the bees.”
- Celtic saying
Gord and I are working on the 2013 beekeeping courses, updating and fine tuning. We will be running our successful Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping again for all you new beekeepers out there those that want to learn more about chemical free sustainable beekeeping. This course will be presented during the winter months this time so you all have lots of time to get things ready for your new bees come spring!
An important reminder for all you aspiring beekeepers out there – if you are wanting to buy bees and get started in 2013, GET YOUR ORDERS IN NOW with your local bee supplier for nucs and/or packages. These are in high demand each and every year and you need to get on list now.
We started with bees in 2008. Two packages of Buckfast in a pair of hives on my family’s cottage property on Simcoe Island. They did well and we split them on August 1 that year.
Fast forward go 2012 and only one of those four are still going:
I just had a horrifying conversation with a new beekeeper. She attended our March workshop and has ordered nucs to be placed on a rural property. In advance of setting up the hives, she touched base with her insurance company and was told that they would not insure her property if she had hives on them:
“Someone could be killed!” quoth the person on the phone who didn’t know what a hive was.
We’re trying a bit of an experiment this year: we’re going to set up and run a couple of langstroth (standard) hives. This is a big thing for us. Langs sort of represent everything that we stand against: chemical treatments, foundation, intrusive inspections, etc.
Not worry, though: we’re subverting them to our nefarious purposes. No foundation, still no treatments and the focus is still the bees. We just figured it’s time we ran a couple of these and there is one advantage to frames that I really to take advantage of. This year, we’re also getting into raising queens and it’s exponentially easy to harvest eggs from a frame of brood than from a bar of comb. I’ll get into that in another post.