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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bee Education with Neighbors

Yesterday I took one of my newly purchased hives over to my parents' house to show off my new toy.  It set it up in the front yard while explaining the components, and my mom took a real interest.  She talked about her childhood and how her dad had about 15 hives in a fence row near their house.  Apparently, Grandma would get upset at Grandpa because he would leave his work on the farm and "waste" a day catching a swarm if someone had one they needed to get rid of.  The frames in their hives didn't have any foundation for the bees to build on, so the bees just filled the frames on their own.  My mom would help her dad cut out the comb and then mash the honey out.  Grandpa raised bees until his death in 1947.  Mom seemed quite interested in learning what was new and what was the same in beekeeping.

While talking with my parents two of their neighbors walked over to see what was going on.  Neither had been involved in beekeeping and were quite interested in seeing the hive and learning about the facinating bees.  Dad even got in a few stories about his grandfather's hives.  Apparently, a lot of farmers prior to the 1950s had their own bee hives.

After returning home, I was talking with our neighbors across the street, and they were interested in learning about the hive sitting in the front yard. (Don't worry, my hives will be placed at the farm and not left in front of my house.)  I brought them over and showed the components.  They both seemed facinated by the tidbits of information about bees, their life cycle, and how a hive works. 

Even though I am just a bee-buyer and not yet a bee-keeper (bees are due to arrive the third weekend of April) it is a lot of fun watching people's faces light up like a child as they learn something new and facinating like bees.  I could see myself going to schools to teach the students and teachers about these remarkable little insects.

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