Two Sisters and a Hive Tool

I can proudly say, that GiGi and I made it through our month of Beekeeping 101 (and without stings, if you can believe it). It’s been a wonderful month and I am still reeling from what we have learned from this class. I think we are more than ready to put our bees in this coming Spring.

I feel so accomplished!

this is what our hive will look like
see the guard bees protecting the entrance?

Our final class was great! We got to play in the beeyard and open up several hives. We even assisted in the switching of one weaker hive to a better location. Class ended with a great chat over a honey tasting. We were able to try Nina’s Wildflower honey from the Franklin Park Conservatory, as well as Buckwheat, Orange Blossom, Blueberry, Basswood and Clover Honeys.

It was a sweet and unexpected treat!

bees on a frame

GiGi holds a Queen cage
A new Queen and her attendants

all types of honey

We have a lot to plan for before next spring!

Beekeeping can be a wonderful hobby, and I’m certain the “backyard beekeepers” are helping the bee population thrive. However, it can be quite an expense to get started. In the next 6 months we will have to save up for the hives, (we would like to start with 2 and hope to eventually make splits from those) and of course, we will have to purchase bees and a queen for each hive. Thankfully, we have made contacts with Nina and the Central Ohio Beekeepers Association (COBA, find the group on Facebook) to make that happen! We are lucky that we have already purchased our gear, the very attractive pith hats and gloves… and I can’t forget to highlight GiGi’s beautiful white jeans (also, you owe me money).

And we have a hive tool!

GiGi holds a frame of bees

In the meantime, we will volunteer at the Franklin Park Conservatory, and learn to help those hives get through the Winter.  We hope to gather as much information before our own hives go in next year!

A BIG HUGE thank you to Nina for hosting the class ad being such an amazing instructor! We really enjoyed it, and look forward to working with you again!

One more note that I forgot to add… If you are willing to help, please sign this petition to help  Save the Bees!!

Bee Happy!

xoxo Madame W

Can you help Save the Bees?

image courtesy of GiGi

Short answer, YES!

In light of the not so recent  Monsanto Scandal, and the decrease of the bee population as a whole, we should be doing our part to make sure bees get a fighting chance. Here are a few things that we ALL could do to help our bees, so listen up!

Plant Things: If you have a yard, some space, or even a few pots… put some flowers in them, or pant a few vegetables if you can. If you increase the amount of pollen, you increase the bees productivity, which creates more bees. Plus, variety is the spice of life, so give the bees lots of different options. How fun would it be to flower bomb an area in your neighborhood? Just take a trip down to your local home and garden store and get a few seed packets, that’s all you need to start!

Go Organic: Once you have your flowers/gardens in, try a completely organic route. There’s no question that chemicals and pesticides kills bees (and other helpful insects, animals… and are generally not that great for you either). There are many ways that you can avoid nasty chemicals in your gardens. You could try this or go here or take a look here for some tips to get you started.

Buy Honey: There has to be a local farmer out there selling honey at your farmer’s market. Get some! Beekeeping seems to be catching on as a fun and important hobby. The more we support local bee farmers, the more we help out the bee population. Plus, we already saw the delightful ways honey can help you in GiGi’s last post. Try some of them out and let us know what you think!

Don’t BEE Afraid: See what I did there? All joking aside, we know that bees sting and that it hurts, but there is no reason to be afraid of them (unless, you are very allergic, then by all means). Spread the word about how great bees are and what they do for all of us!  And maybe some day you can tell people how great the honey was that you bought from those two awesome (crazy?) beekeeping sisters!

We want to know what you are doing to help Save the Bees, so report back!

xo

Madame W