Back to Basics: Bees, Beehives, and Biscuits

After years of scheduling conflicts with the NEKBA beekeeping class, we finally were able to take their beginning beekeeping course this year. We attended our first of two classes yesterday. In many ways, the first half of the class was review for us. We knew much of the information that was presented in the various sessions, and my husband did find one of the presenters a little snooze worthy. I gently reminded him that we all aren’t as engaging and talented teachers as he is. Even though the first class focused on basics we mostly already knew, I think the class is going to be worth it on the whole.

For starters, we received some fantastic resources. One book is the accompaniment for the beekeeping course we watched on YouTube when we first began keeping bees. The YouTube course is conducted by Dr. Keith Delaplane, a Professor of Entomology at the University of Georgia. The other book includes high-quality pictures with on point discussions of various issues related to beekeeping.

For seconds, one of the presenters unequivocally laid out the reasons for beehives to be in full sun. I have tried encouraging my husband to relocate the hives for about a year, but he  hadn’t wanted to for understandable reasons. Hearing someone else delineate the reasons why beehives should be in full sun (admittedly more thoroughly and with less equivocation than I had proffered) was exactly what my husband needed to hear. We settled on a new hive location in our backyard that would be in more sun.

Better yet, we expect next week to be more educational. Dr. Delaplane himself is going to be leading the presentations next week. I’m kind of excited. It’s not every day you meet a bee idol! I mean, this man invited me into his kitchen to make sugar syrup with his wife… all on video, of course, but still. I found his videos informative and hitting that sweet spot between being accessible for beginners without being dumbed down, so I am hoping to learn much from him during his in-person class.

I miss having bees in the backyard, and I really, really want this hive to be successful. The failures have been difficult. In the meantime, I might just make another batch off beehive-and-bee biscuits next weekend.

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