Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pollinators are Back...

Sounds like a sci-fi movie and these bees can be alarming to some...

but they are really very gentle and are great for the environment and our farm! If you are interested in beekeeping you can take a look at the Pennsylvania Beekeeper's Association web site, or the Delaware Beekeepers Association also has some really interesting information. If you're curious about what it takes to become a beekeeper, there is a nominal fee to be involved in one of these associations and classes are offered to learn more about beekeeping.

Like the bees some might think the beekeepers protective gear has it's own sci-fi feel, but under the white veil is a very gentle and intelligent beekeeper named Mike Elling who has been keeping bees at the farm since 1979.  There are two other beekeepers on the farm and they are all a very important part in making what we do at SIW a success!  

Bees come in either a "package" or a "Nuc." In the "package" the queen arrives in the little box Mike is holding and she is accompanied by a few worker bees. Once on the farm, she is introduced to the 600-900 other bees that have been bought to keep her company and to make honey. 

The goal is for the bees to "like" the queen bee but there is an adjustment period.   In the "Nuc" the bees arrive together with their queen already adjusted.  

These trays are called "frames" and are inserted into the hives where the bees will build their combs onto it making amazingly delicious HONEY!    

If any of you struggle with pollen allergies, it is NOT an old-wives-tale that consuming raw honey helps to immune you against such allergies. Just another reason to come on by the market and pick up some raw honey!

So, no need to be afraid of the bees, they are good as gold!  You'll only get stung if you're annoying them by being loud around and threaten their hive (or their safety).  But, standing a few feet off and observing them is really an amazing experience! 

If you have any interesting bee knowledge you want to pass along, please post your comments below!

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