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September 29, 2012

What's the buzz?

Hives offer farming, learning opportunity, local beekeepers say

Folks say nothing is sweeter than honey.

And for many reasons, the trend of beekeeping and making honey and other products is growing.

Some folks do it for the enjoyment of providing a good environment for these interesting, productive insects. Some do it for profit, and others have invested time to learn some of the basics to keep a hive and to pollinate their fruit trees, and the rest of the planet.

Novices have a variety of sources to learn from — resource books are plentiful in the library and bookstore, and often local nature facilities offer bee-keeping clinics offering info at the numerous levels. There are beekeeping associations and source pages on the Internet.  There are classes to advise which flowers to grow, or how to branch off into candlemaking, honey’s medicinal uses, and thousands of recipes. There kits and and ideas to make beekeeping easy for just about anyone whose interest is sparked.

The best knowledge comes from the actual act of starting the process.

Jason Connelly and Sarah Hansen have had a hive in Stamford for about a year. 

Their interest is two-fold.

“I simply wanted honey,”  Hansen said. “We bought this acre primarily for the bees ... I love it.”

”I wanted to learn about the process too,” Connelly said.  “It is also important for the antique apple trees I have on the property ... for the bees to keep pollinating them. I took a beginner class at the Delaware County Cooperative Extension, and ... we both have ... done a lot of reading on the topic.”

Their hive originated from Georgia, but in May they had to start fresh, as their queen had died. By late September, the hive has flourished, and they are looking forward to harvesting some honey and expanding their count. They built their hive from a kit, and have an electric fence to keep unwanted visitors away from the box. They have a routine set and observe them regularly in Harpersfield.

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