An apiarist is a beekeeper. Who knew! I didn’t, until I started looking into beekeeping early last year. I read a few different articles mentioning how bees were dying and that this ultimately could affect the world’s food supply. Being curious as I am I needed to know more. I purchased The Vanishing of the Bees documentary where the dying bees phenomenon is examined and I raided my local library for all the resources I could about bees.
As it dawned on me how critical bees are to our food supply, I realised that I needed to take action.
I dragged Informed Papa along to a local beekeepers meeting. Actually I didn’t need to drag him, he was totally into the idea! We met local beekeepers and were shown our first look into a busy hive. We chatted with others and participated in a couple of hands-on workshops to do with the practicalities of beekeeping.
That was in March 2012. Fast forward to September and even though we still felt completely unprepared and totally out of our depth, we knew getting our own hive was something we wanted…NEEDED…to do – for our planet and as part of our journey towards self-sufficiency. Informed Papa purchased all the equipment and worked at putting our first hive together.
He hammered away and made multiple trips to the beekeeping supply store and the local hardware store. In November 2012 it was ready for occupants and we sourced our first Queen and drones.
The house we are currently living in is not on a block large enough to keep bees (if we want our children to play in the backyard), so we put the hive at Informed Papa’s brother’s place, which is three-acres large with a yummy vegie patch that would benefit greatly from little buzzers. We go out every couple of weeks and check on our ‘babies’ and like all new parents we panic when there’s a storm or lots of rain or anything that may impact our bees.
It’s now April 2013, a little over a year since I started my mad mission to learn about bees, and I am so pleased and proud that we have taken the steps to do so. We haven’t extracted any honey yet and have little clue how to do so at this stage, but the beauty of being members of a beekeepers association is there is always someone willing to mentor and share. They say if you ask ten different beekeepers a question you’ll get twenty different replies; that there are multiple ways of doing things in beekeeping land and just as many opinions. As we learn more about bees we also want to share the knowledge. We have big plans for owning and caring for many hives in our future and for supporting new beekeepers. One of the first things we will do when we move onto acreage is get more hives. We have so much to learn about beekeeping still, and we are enjoying the journey so much!