Bees on the homestead?

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beespollinatingLast winter, Travis and I were talking about getting bees in the spring. Travis and I were doing research trying to figure out how to go about getting bees and tending to them. Travis went to the local ranch store and purchased a hive, outwear and gloves. In addition to buying the necessary supplies, Travis started attending the local monthly beekeepers meetings trying to learn more about beekeeping. He came home and started describing the local beekeepers he met and how friendly and willing to help others interested in beekeeping. I told him that when he went next month that I would like attend the meeting with him. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the meeting and the people were as friendly as he described.

We signed up to receive their newsletter and was able to sign up  for the local swarm list. We also learned about a Beekeeping 101 class that was offered at the local Bee supply store. We discussed it and thought it would be a good idea for both of us to take the class sine we were hoping to get bees in the near future. This class was full of information and the attendees were both new and experienced beekeepers. After the class had ended, there was a call that came in to the shop about a swarm that needed to be taken care of. We were offered the chance to go get it but it was too far away for us to get, and we were unprepared at that time. The next week, we received a call about a swarm that was collected and was offered this swarm to begin our hive.

20160511_181217Travis had met a friend at one of the meetings who has 5 acres of land. The friend had mentioned that he was interested in having bees on his property. Travis talked to him and they have an agreement that we can keep our bees on his property. We took our swarm of bees that we were given and set up our hive on the property. It was so exciting knowing that they had a home and were close.

Over the summer, we added a “super”, which is a smaller box for the bees to fill with honey. Since it was our first year with bees, we were not lucky enough to have capped honey in the super. We were able to take 2 frames from one of our deep broad boxes for honey collection. It was fun watching and learning how to extract the honey. Once we extracted the honey from the 2 frames, we ended up with around 9 pounds of honey. We were surprised and happy with the amount of honey, since our bees were just getting established this first year.

Our first year with keeping bees was a learning experience which we both enjoyed. We learned that there are many beekeepers and each one has a different opinion on how to raise bees. Earlier this year, we decided that we were going to add another hive. We purchased a nuc earlier this year and now have them installed into their new hive. We now have 2 hives on the property and are excited to see how this year’s honey collection turns out.

Cheryl Blatnik

Cheryl is energetic,motivated,hard working, determined and loves a good challenge. She enjoys gardening, loves animals, and learning new things. Her goal is to become more self sufficient and a better homesteader. She would like to get back to the basics with cooking, homemaking, and food preservation. Cheryl additionally holds several degrees and enjoys her career within the medical community and working in Accounting. She is successfully raising a teenager of her own and 2 other teenage children. Her life long goal is to live in the country completely off-grid on a productive homestead away from goverment bureaucracy.

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