Friday, February 27, 2009

How Would it Bee?

If I had my own colony working tirelessly creating yummy, nutritious honey and candlemaking beeswax and medicinal propolis? I think it will be fabulous! Today I picked up this book called THE BACKYARD BEEKEEPER by Kim Flottum and I am soooo ready to get started!

I will not be undertaking this endeavor this season, since it is time now to purchase the box, hive, and all supplies in order to get started. We are moving into peak season, and it would be the perfect time to begin if I had read this book two months ago and purchased all the accoutrements while I was still gainfully employed. But I am going to read the book, and spend this season accumulating all the supplies I am able to accumulate through alternative means.

By this, I mean that I have found in the world of gardening that there is always the possibility for swapping tools of the trade. Often, those who keep bees also do their own gardening and other small (or Large) scale farming. At times, there are likely to be castoffs that are let go for various reasons. Beekeepers who are upgrading hives for whatever reason are likely to have some old supplies they are willing to part with, and possibly trade for other items. In this economy, this is a growing trend. So, this season, I will be on a trek for knowledge, networks, and supplies.

This book discusses the very basic basics of beginning to keep bees. In addition, it gives me step-by-step information on harvesting honey, the wax, and how to make candles and soap. It includes recipes for lip balm, skin care products, and tasty food and drinks. If we are hoping to achieve a modicum of sustainability, a hive is a must-have, in my opinion. I have not yet embarked upon candle and soap making, but they are definitely on the list!

Some suggested visits include:

American Bee Journal

Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping

Canadian Honey Council

Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

Kelley's Bee Supply



Splendid Little Stars said...

I have a good friend who is a beekeeper. He says it is difficult and takes a while to get started. He recommended the following: "Beekeeping for Dummies" is probably one of the current best books for beginners, says he. And is a discussion forum that's pretty good.
Good luck!

SLColman said...

What a cool thing to do! I hope that you can get this started in the near future! :)
- Stephanie at