Growing up, many people have pets like dogs and cats but for me, it is 200,000 bees.  My dad has always been in the international food business.  After buying and selling fruit for a few years, he got an offer to sell honey.  He jumped at the new opportunityHoney was in demand and proved to be a successful new venture.  In order to really understand the business, my dad bought four beehives.  He believed it was a good way to show our family how to take care of bees and make honey.  In 2018, our beehives made over 150 pounds of honey. We believe this summer we will get even more. 

Beekeeping is a very interesting job and to get the chance at such a young age to be in charge of a couple of hives is a great experience.  To raise bees, you need a bee suit, a smoker, bee hives, bees, a queen bee and many flowers.  Most of the time the bees survive the winters.  In some cases however, beekeepers need to buy new bees when the bees do not make it.  Many people do not know that you need to buy the bees separate from the queen, but the bees need to be with the queen for around 2 weeks before getting into a hive just to trust the queen and know to protect it.  At the beginning of the year when you put the bees into their new hive, you usually have to feed them by giving them sugar and honey water until the natural nectar is available.  During the early stages of owning bees, I’ve learned to wear my bee suit because they usually will try and sting you to protect their honey.  To calm the bees down, you use a smoker.  The bees believe the smoke is a forest fire.  They hunker down, become drowsy and don’t fly.  It is a lot of work keeping bees but it is well worth the efforts when the honey is extracted and we can taste the harvest.   

Beekeeping has been a great learning experience in my life and I am very glad I have the opportunity to learn this hobby.  I love going into my yard with my family and checking on the bees to make sure they are ok and are making honey.  How these insects can produce such a wonderful tasting food is beyond me.