Friday, February 8, 2013

The Bee Backstory

     We have been buying local honey for a couple of years now.  One thing we learned pretty quickly when we moved to Georgia was that the pollen in the air here will make someone that has never had an allergy to anything miserable.  They say that eating local honey will help the body cope with the varying pollens in the area.  Combine that with my desire to purchase what I can locally, we began consuming local honey. 

     On our property we already had a nice garden, some chickens, ducks, and turkeys.  I had been interested in bees since I started gardening, simply for their pollination.  One day at church I started talking to a gentleman who had a few hives.  He invited me to the Southwest Georgia (SOWEGA) beekeepers meeting to get more information.  They meet at Cheehaw park near Albany on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30.  The SOWEGA beekeepers are some of the nicest people one could hope to meet, full of information and always willing to share their experiences.  After a few months of attending he invited me to come over while he opened up his hives. 

     He has two hives different styles of hives.  One it a top-bar hive, the second is a Langstroth.  I'll admit, the first time walking up to a bee hive to intentionally open it up made me a bit nervous.  However, after a bit of smoke I was amazed at how docile they actually were.  As with most people, my past experiences with bee hives had been unintentional and ended in pain.  We opened both hives and he robbed some honey.  I did get stung once on my ring finger, but it wasn't as bad as I remember as a child.  After the day in the hives I was ready to jump in and order some bees.  Unfortunately it was late fall and they are only available in the spring. So...... we wait.

These are the two types of hives. 

Top Bar Hive
Langstroth Hive

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