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So, You Want to Be a Beekeeper?

Posted By: Lymerick
Date: Saturday, 25-Apr-2020 14:18:55
www.rumormill.news/145451

By Richard Hines

It’s not as hard as you think, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. I have been around bees and beehives for the past 60 years. My cousin and uncle had hives. When walking around hives as a kid, I knew you did not “get in their front door.”

Now both our sons either have bees or help in some way. Two years ago, our granddaughter began suiting up, watching us work hives.

My wife and I have been keeping bees since we were married 42 years ago, and while we have not had bees the entire time, we have spent time with them. Since we retired six years ago, we have expanded from our two-hive operation to as many as twenty hives, but the most discouraging part is what should be normal expansion of new hives is not always a guarantee.

Today’s beekeepers are fighting a host of problems that my grandfather and uncles did not have to deal with including Varroa Mites, Hive Beetles, and American Foulbrood. Each year we lose hives and each summer we try to rebuild what we lost.

To make things worse, when we sell our honey at local farmers markets at the price suggested by the State Beekeepers Association, folks will ask, “why is honey so much cheaper at the grocery store?” I attempt to explain that most of that honey in grocery chains is mass-produced in places like Vietnam and other foreign countries. There, bees are force-fed sugar water rather than naturally collecting pollen and it is blended to have uniform color and taste.

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