Since we last spoke waaaaaay back in 2016, I’ve taken up a new hobby – beekeeping!
I had my first class last Saturday at Randall’s Island. I’ve lived most of my life in NY, but that was my first time on Randall’s Island and it’s really quite beautiful, if a bit isolated.
The class was informative and fun. I learned so much about our bee friends and how to build and maintain a hive. We also spent some time inspecting the hives on the roof of the building. Since it was chilly, we didn’t open any of the active hives, but we did look at some of the “unoccupied” ones. We’ll do another inspection later this month and in April, we’ll get the bees that will populate the hive this spring/summer. The new bees are being driven in from California. They’re fancy like that.
The whole process of beekeeping is fascinating. From how to choose a queen, to the division of labor in the hive, to how they build those elaborate honeycombs and produce honey. And they’re peaceful unless they feel threatened. I wish I’d known that bees are friendly because I spent most of my childhood running from any and all flying insects. In my defense, I grew up in Brooklyn so I considered insects wildlife.
Of course we also went over the dangers. A bee sting will be unpleasant to most people, but if you’re allergic, it could kill you. I’ve never been stung, but I doubt I’m allergic. I will, however, have to find out. I love honey, but not enough to die for it.
Speaking of which, a hive provides about 20lbs of honey so I was totally excited by the prospect of having alllll that honey – from my own bees no less. I just need a place to build my hive. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a big, fat NO from my landlord so I have to find somewhere else.
I took quite a few pics, but for whatever reason, I can’t upload them. I will post them as soon as I can though.