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The Beautiful World of Honey Bees

I want to raise honey bees. As of Saturday afternoon, that is. There’s something so refreshing about being outside, having to do physical labor with your hands. And then there’s the problem-solving aspect of it. As Tara Chapman of Two Hives Honey told us on our bee tour at the Honey Festival yesterday, “If there’s nothing wrong with your hive, you’re not learning anything.”

There’s a lot that can – and does – go wrong with a honey bee hive, and figuring out what that problem is and how to solve it are all parts of being a bee keeper.

I like the accessibility of bee keeping for the masses. It doesn’t take a huge financial commitment (although no one was throwing out specific numbers). It also doesn’t take any sort of degree – the knowledge required is easily attainable. You don’t need a lot of space. Although that’s where the problem comes for me – I have exactly zero square feet of outdoor space to call my own. Hopefully that won’t be the case forever at least….

Honey bee hive

And as we all keep hearing, bee keeping is essential to the environment. I won’t go on a tangent, I promise. But it’s important, and is the best way to ensure the survival of bees, which equals the survival of all other living things, simply put. No biggie.

If you aren’t able to become a bee keeper, the next best thing you can do is to buy local honey from farmers as well as all the non-honey produce they sell, too (which helps feed honey bees). So that’s what I’ll do for now, I guess. And marvel at how many bees it took to produce each spoonful of honey I stir into my tea. (One bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its 42-day lifespan!) Oh – and hope Niklas grows out of his “respect” for bees someday.

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