To bee or not to bee

For several years I kept bees. Not just because I like honey and other bee products (i truly do). There is just something Zen about the process of working the hive, watching the hive grow, and just sitting back watching the ladies come and go on a summer afternoon. The honey was the sweetener in my Kombucha and it made the most amazing flavors as part of the Kombucha.

When I moved to Peru (not NY, the one in South America), I passed on most of my beekeeping stuff to Ashley, our self proclaimed daughter (she worked at our favorite restaurant and was a potential hippie). Far as I know, she still has bees

Peru has a variety of honeybee that is black. They would swarm around the sugar cane juice vendor on the corner near our place. I would buy cane juice to use as the sweetener for Kombucha. I would have ultimately found a swarm and taken them if I had remained there.

But we left Peru and moved to Waterford, Ireland. I tried contacting a couple bee suppliers in Ireland but they were a cantankerous bunch. Just as well, since we really didn’t have the space for a hive there. Plus we had to make an abrupt departure and I can just imagine trying to find a home for a colony on top of all the other logistics involved with coordinating an international move from go to out of country in 2 weeks.

So what’s all this ramble about? Since we’ve been back, I’ve wanted to get bees again. In Roanoke, the apartment we lived in wasn’t likely to be bee friendly. Here in lovely Radford, I have the space and the neighbor kids are ok. I started looking for bees for sale and came across the local beekeeping association. Saw they have a beginning beekeeping class starting this weekend. Since its been a while since I have kept the company of the ladies, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take the class. Plus, the association has good deals on bee packages so I figure some learning and a good deal on bees is a great way to get back into it.

I kept my suit and gloves. Our new favorite store around here is Rural King. I had been eyeing their “everything you need to keep bees package and the other day when I went in, it had been opened so they had slapped a half off price tag on it. So i left the store poorer, but with a complete hive setup. I was going to build my own hives but the cost in the basic tools alone would have been much more than the ready made kit. At least i have more time to build more hives and can start the first colony when the season gets here.

So here we go again, all the yummy goodness and a box full o’ladies to play with. Ain’t life grand?

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