Monday, March 16, 2009

Entering My Second Beekeeping Season and Lessons from the First

After a successful first season of beekeeping, I'm anxiously awaiting the first weekend in April when I'll pickup three three pound boxes of bees to setup three additional beehives. Assuming my three current hives make it through the winter and it's a great honey season I should harvest about 15 gallons of Madoff honey.

Just kidding...

I joke around that maybe the bees were harvesting the nectar from Madoff's flowers at his Montauk compound, but that's too far for them to fly.

I've picked up a few domains just in case I ever decide to make a business out of this, BeeHampton.com and BeeHamptonHoney.com. For now it's fun enough just doing this as a personal endeavor.

What have I learned from my first season as a beekeeper?

1. If you're careful you don't need to wear gloves - Being gentle and using smoke keeps the bees happy and docile.

2. Bees are fascinating to watch and you can waste hours watching them - I'm looking into an outdoor webcam so I can let everyone learn this valuable lesson.

3. I'm dumb - I initially setup one hive, but was told I was dumb by a family member, get more you'll invest the same amount of time. He was correct, so I ordered two more. The only problem was those two did not produce any honey, just copious amounts of propolis. This year they should produce otherwise I'll need to switch out the Queen bee for better genetics.

4. Everyone wants some of my honey - I need to buy smaller containers so I can fulfill as many requests as possible.

5. Beekeeping videos are entertaining - I made a few videos last year, this year I'll video tape the whole experience from picking up the boxed bees to the installation and I'll take more photos.

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