There will be a new arrival coming soon to the homestead (no, I’m not pregnant): BEES!
You may remember that two years ago, I attempted at bee keeping. I failed. You can read about that here. Since then, I’ve wanted to try a hive again, but have been afraid. I was clumsy with the boxes, I never really knew what to look for during inspections, I never could figure out how to light my smoker, I squished way to many bees that I felt was appropriate. Despite reading books, articles and taking classes since my last experience, I still don’t feel like I know what the hell to do. I was aiming for trying again in 2017.
But when I read that the Institute for Urban Homesteading down in Oakland was offering bee mentorships, and would accept people from Sonoma County, I jumped at the chance. I figured this would be the year I would get bees again. If I had some hands on guidance, and a steady stream of support, I know I would do much better. Plus, it was led by Ruby Bloom, though whom I had never met, was kind of a idol of mine, having successfully created a business of teaching homesteading skills.
So I’ve signed up for the 16-month mentorship. I’ve ordered a package of untreated, local bees and will be picking them up on April 9th. I’m going to be switching to a top-bar hive, an alternative to the commonly seen langstroth hive, and purchased construction plans from Beethinking to build my own.
Here’s to a successful beekeeping adventure! I’ll make sure to update as I go!