We began keeping bees with a friend from Smiths Falls who was also interested in bees but didn’t have enough room on his property for the hives. We each started out with two ‘nukes’ so four in all which were installed July 1st. This is considered a late start and we’re not expecting much honey this season but hopefully with the proximity of the hives to the 15 acre Sunflower field we may get lucky!
It has been a learning experience for us both and our first piece of advice to follow was to start with two hives in case one doesn’t survive due to swarming or any other number of reasons. So far all four hives seem to be thriving and we (knock wood) hope to make it through the winter and have a chance for a full season in 2013.
Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby which at its core is a matter of providing an ideal home for the bees and taking a part of their honey production for our own use and leaving the rest for the bees. For us, honey provides ‘sweetening’ and has long been used before commercial sugar production. For the bees it is produced as a food source so that they can survive the winter and begin their cycle anew the following Spring.
We strongly encourage anyone who is thinking about keeping bees to go ahead as the bee populations are on a decline and could use all the extra help we can offer. I personally find it therapeutic and inspiring to work with the hives and watch the bees at work.