I had a new experience in the world of agriculture this week: bees. Bees are so important to the life of a garden or farm, surely most people know that by an early age. So in trying to learn everything I can about how it all works together, it is so fantastic that I have started to finally connect with people in agriculture who live and farm in my area. The Zebulon market where I have been selling my scrubs and sunflowers has been a great place to meet others, some also in the beginning stages of their ventures in agriculture and other crafty endeavors. That being said, I made a connection via Facebook with a bee keeper just down the road from me. She invited me over while her mentor was there to advise her. What a great opportunity!
Believe it or not, I already have a bee suit. However, it was given to my husband by a sweet coworker and it is an XS. I am not an extra small. So I unzipped the hood from the suit because it fit, and put on my Muck boots, overalls, and a long sleeve shirt. Bring it on! I ended up getting stung on the arm once, but it only hurt for a minute. A friend who came along got stung in the eyebrow and her eye got very swollen later. I have always been fortunate not to have much of a reaction to any kind of bug bite or sting. (Knock on wood.) But all bites aside, I learned so much. I feel like I have a kindergarten level understanding of what bee keeping is like. To be responsible for the lives of all those bees, in my opinion, one should have at least a high school level understanding of bee keeping.
Let’s back up a tick, just to explain my need to bee. I have planted a pumpkin patch, for which I have high hopes, and there are so many big yellow blossoms on many of the plants… but I have seen very few bees around this year sadly. Of course the bees need to bee here to make the magic happen. My options for getting bees, either buying or renting (yes, that’s a thing) right now are just not ideal, according to the advice of the mentor’s mentor. Then my friends reassured me that there would still be pumpkins, don’t despair. Fingers crossed; at least the luffa is growing more rapidly these days!
My ultimate decision on the question- To Bee or Not To Bee?- not this year. I have so, so, so much to learn. Also, the bee friend said bee keeping was expensive, and she is a horse owner!! Gasp. Getting a hive will remain a long term goal. I feel if I am going to have a small farm to cultivate for the purposes of education and well being, a bee hive is a necessary component. Maybe I can just set a goal of one new species each year. Chickens for 2020. My daughter hopes 2021 will be the year of the horse. Who knows? Bees, goats, horses- Oh my!