Continuing with April's A-Z Blogging Challenge today B is for Bees.
Recall if you will, when I said I wanted to learn about bees in the hope I could keep bees, honey bees in particular. Well, Tom and I went to Franklintown, PA for the workshop run by PennApic and we met Julie Helms there.
How lucky for Julie that it was just a hop, skip and jump away from her home at Wooly Acres, so I had the fun of visiting with her and her kids--both human and of the goat variety--and also learn about bees.
Julie's kids later. For now, let's get to the bees. Don't know about you, but when I think bees I always think right along with them, Honey...yes, just like Pooh Bear!
But as Pooh Bear once said to Christopher Robin, "These are the wrong sorts of bees!"
That is to say, some of them are...the wrong sorts, that is. Unfortunately, Honey bees may not be for me, so they would be the wrong sorts, and I am rather sad about it.
First, I was silly enough to think Honey bees could do things on their own. Tom pretty much thought so too. Apparently not! There was so much to it, it made my head spin...and I had already had my dose of ginger for the day to prevent that.
Then we got around to listening to all the things which can go wrong; diseases, swarming, vacating, fleeing bees and whatnot. YIKES! Then we got around to the cost involved. It was three times what I had been told before--some $300 suddenly increased to nearly a thousand. Tom made the logical observation, "You can buy a heck of a lot of raw honey for that much money without all the hassle."
Have I mentioned lately my Tommy is brilliant? Well, he is!
What bothered Julie most is the fact that even if you do everything right, it can all be for nothing and you wind up with dead or diseased bees and/or those which fly the coup...okay, hive. And then there's the stinging bees thing...ouch!
We did learn about solitary bees, though, and those were easier to deal with--mostly because they don't make honey-- and just the type Julie might try. She just wants pollinators. For me, I must admit, it was the "free" honey and wax which mostly attracted me to this idea, but I also did want to save the bees, but I fear I may be of no use to them.
I still would like someone from around where I live to "use" my property as a honey bee sanctuary, but that idea was nixed straight away. Liability, access and a slew of other troubles were explained. Oh, well.
I do believe I will have to be content with the bees, flutterbys and other pollinators which frequent my garden and I'll just have to visit Julie's Wooly acres every time I wish for honey. She told me she knows a great place for pure real honey. Learning about bees was good even if I won't be doing the hive thing, so all in all, a good trip. I'll tell you about Julie's kids next time.