For the last two years I've had a touch of bee fever but not enough time to do anything about it. This spring I have it bad. So bad that when I went into research mode again two months ago I made III promise to keep me from buying a bee hive this year. We already have a few new projects in the works and we've had a tendency in the past to get spread too thin and end up not doing as good a job as we should with a project. I don't want that to be the case with bees.
Another reason I decided to wait is that most of my research indicated that you need to place an order for bees by at least February. My dilemma back in January was that the beginning beekeeping workshop I wanted to attend wasn't happening till mid-March. So I had to decide whether to place an order with very little knowledge of what I was ordering or take a chance that I would still be able to get bees in March. I decided that since I was dealing with living creatures rather than plants, I would wait till I knew a little bit more.
February came and went and my bee obsession was put aside in place of starting seedlings, taking care of monsters and ordering chicks (critters I know how to raise). Everything changed on Monday evening when I attended the first night of the beginning beekeeper class put on by the Central Arkansas Beekeepers Association. I actually missed last night's class due to my unwillingness to drive into Little Rock in the middle of the thunderstorms rocking our area but have poured over the book they sent me home with and can't wait for tomorrow night's class. From what I understand, the extension office helps put on these classes around the state and I highly recommend attending one if bees are an interest. I learned so much.
I learned so much in fact that I feel like I am definitely not ready for a hive this year. My interest in bees lies in that fact that I find them fascinating and need them for pollination. I'm not really interested in honey production. Don't get me wrong, being able to produce one more portion of our diet here on the farm would be great, but I don't intend to get into honey production for market sales. I had hoped to find out I could set a hive out and be pretty hands-off with it. It doesn't sound like that is the case. So, until next year...maybe I can luck on a beekeeper in need of an extra bee yard like I did two years ago.
Anyone feel like keeping bees on our farm?