Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mainstream Beekeeping

A top bar hive ready to be loaded it to a car and be taken
directly home.

I attended my first beekeeping class a couple of weeks ago. The class was free to attend and sponsored by IFA, a regional farm and garden store. The fact the class was no cost and had a retail sponsor tells me something important: bees are mainstream.

Even at the hight of the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970's, I don't think there was so much interest in raising bees. I suppose it will end up being a fad, but I hope not. Bees are terribly interesting and are at so much risk right now that every new hive offers a better chance for their survival.

Langstroth hives in several configurations
sitting in the store.

By having many beehives in a neighborhood, there are a greater number of bees to make up for the dead hives caused by temperature variations, pests, and pesticides. Lots of urban bees in back yards can eventually provide replacement bees for the highly stressed bees used to pollinate commercial crops.

Thanks to Chris Rodesch for coming in to
teach us a great class!

I don't know how many beehives an urban or suburban acre can hold, but if you ever have a question whether your bees can be fed, call me and I will be more than happy to design a bee garden for you!

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