My summer morning ritual of listening to NPR (KRCB) had a nice story to include in Garden366 today. Backyard beekeeping is on the rise and the story is all about the increase of interest in this hobby. And what a great hobby it is!! You have to have a little nerve, but the payoff of great pollination and the treat of the annual harvest of honey just cannot be beat. To top it off, when you go on vacation, you do not have to have anybody come by to take care of your "pets".
The beauty of having a hive is that you do not need much space. We have two hives in your relatively small city lot and they are both thriving. I lifted the top "honey super" the other day to insert some more space and I could barely handle the weight. This means to me that we will have at least 5 gallons of honey from our two hives...still leaving plenty of honey for the bees to make it through the winter. There is good support in our area for supplies but if you live somewhere that there is not, you can always order supplies online.
So, how do you go about getting bees to get started? I was given my first hive by a fellow beekeeper/friend so I have started others in the same way. Every new beekeeper I get into the hobby I feel like I am doing my part in spreading the genetics of very successfull bee colonies. If you are interested, let me know...for I pick up swarms on an informal basis. People call me when they see them and I come by to pick them up and deliver them to your house. I picked up three swarms this spring.
Link to the NPR story
Harvested the past couple of days:
1) Two Zuchinnis ($2.00)
2) Handfull of Strawberries and Cherry Tomatoes
1) Two bunches of Chard ($6.00)
2) Handfull of Cherry Tomatoes
Total Harvested (Year-to-Date): $64.00
Expenses (Year-to-Date): $6.00