Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Here is my newest venture in the farming business. I love my girls, every single one of them..... and boy are there a lot of them! Honey bees are amazing, and this past year I got my very first hive. At the beginning of winter I had 2 hive, sadly I lost one. But I'm very excited because last Tuesday I met a man who wanted to get out of the bee business, long story short, I got a great deal! A hive, 2 supers, and a strong colony of bees for $50. Yes siree, I was ready to do flips! Anyone who knows anything about beekeeping knows that it was a steal. Me and daddy went to get the hive and we even picked up another hive and super -no bees- for $25, that's not bad either. Last year me and my parents went though Wilkes County Beekeepers Association Short Course for beginners. I just tagged along because it was a real interest of mine and at the end of the class mom & dad took the test to be certified. I didn't do that part so I will be going through the course again this year. Now is the time to be getting all the beekeeping things ready for spring, and I have 2 hives lined up for me from some friends. The very first hive that I got was quite an experience. The bees had swarmed into an abandoned house and we had to cut them out of the walls! It was like nothing I had ever seen before and though I got stung about 8 times that day I was more than thrilled.
For the past couple of years I have participated in the 4-H beekeeping essay contest. This year is no exception, in fact this year I think I'm more excited than every to be doing it. I have been setting up interviews, contacting my mentors, and even doing things a bit differently. Luckily everyone is patient, thanks yall! Hopefully this year will be the year that my essay makes it to Nationals. The topic is on the results of honey bee pollination in my community. I've already begun working on it, it's due the 14th of Feb! Yikes!
I have done quite a bit with my honey bee venture this year. I started off with the class like I was telling you about, then I did a 4-H presentation on "The Secret Life of Honey Bees". After that there was the essay, then I went on to compete at State level with my presentation while dad brought home another swarm. When I got back from my trip I began working on a presentation for the Wilkes County Beekeepers Association that the president had asked me to do. It was a bit different than a 4-H presentation. A 4-H presentation is about 8 minutes long where as this one had to be around 45 minutes long! I think I made it to 35 minutes? Anyways it went very well, and so now I'm working on starting a beekeeping club through 4-H that I will help lead. Then I helped paint kids faces at Brushy Mountain Apple Festival to promote the beekeepers club. And of course, the essay.
I absolutely love beekeeping! It is something that everyone should try, since we got bee hives mom has warned all the kids to be very careful. Not because they might get stung, but because if they do get stung then they will kill one of the honeybees! =) Thankfully nothing terrible has happened, although the hives did almost get run over by the 4-wheeler... key word- ALMOST.
Here's some pictures, a little bit of everything! EnJoy!
I am really wishing I knew how to flip these pics right now! Anyways... this is Dad going into the swarm that I told you was inside the house. Really amazing right!?
Jeremy and Howard were such huge helps through this! Thanks yall! This was inside the house after the wall was partly taken down. 
Inside the wall we found comb 9 feet long and 3 feet wide! 

Here is a face that was painted at the Apple Fest. The honey bees were so cute! The kids loved them! 

 Here is the beginning of "A Day In The Beeyard" at Howard Blackburn's place during the short course. We got to help remove a swarm from a tree they had placed themselves in.
The bare hands you see are Mr. Howard's! It was cool to see him in there without gloves, said he's been stung so many times it doesn't matter anymore. 

 Jeremy and one of the other beekeepers about to cut the tree trunk.
The amount of comb and honey, as well as brood that we pulled out of the trunk was amazing, and in the next picture you can see all the honeybees darting around us. 

Mr. Howard, Jeremy and Dad cutting out comb.

 Mr. Howard taught me how to pick up a honey bee without getting stung!! 
Every beekeeper should know how to do that! 

This is Mr. Howard's beautiful apiary, I love it. 

Some of the tools we used that day with the bees covering them. 

And here is my wonderful daddy, without him I wouldn't have 2 hives running right now. He's a big help with the hauling and catching and setting up.

Gabby .V.

No comments:

Post a Comment