Honey bees are very interesting creatures. They are a matriarchal society and extremely organized. The reason I am discussing them is I am officially becoming a beekeeper, otherwise known as apiarist. I did some research and took a beekeeping class from Paul Cronshaw (“The Beeman”) at Fairview Gardens ( http://www.fairviewgardens.org/). Next step: build a beehive. The plans for building the highly popular 10-frame Langstroth Beehive are readily available online at The Bee Source (http://www.beesource.com/). I bought a 4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ sheet of plywood last night and will start cutting the boards for the hive today. I’m so excited!
Honey bees do wonderful things for us. Did you realize that without these workers we would suffer a serious food shortage? Their top job is to pollinate plants many of which are the plants that produce our fruits, vegetables, nuts, wine grapes, hops for beer, etc. And recently several perils are affecting the mere existence of the honeybee. Their numbers have been dwindling. Many things have been identified as killers of the bees so beekeepers are becoming more and more vital to the survival of the honeybee and as stewards to the survival of U.S. agriculture. Beekeepers can travel across the country with their hives to service crops in need of pollination. ROAD TRIP!!!
Now about honey. Some people say that taking honey from a beehive is stealing from the bees. In the purest sense, this is true. But bees who live in southern California rarely need to depend on stores of honey for survival since normally there are nectar bearing flowers available to them year round. This is especially true for the urban bee with households maintaining flower gardens in their yards. So honey is a big perk for beekeepers.
Another direct product from the bee is beeswax. Did you know that burning beeswax candles produce no soot? And it’s great for polishing wood… and surf boards. Actually, the list of uses for beeswax is HUGE! I will have to develop the list for myself as my wax stash grows.
Enough blogging. I must begin building. I will post photos to document my progress in future posts. Sign up for your very own bottle of pure, organic honey real soon.