David’s first bee class was last night! He gives us a download…
I went to my first bee class last night with my friend Coryndon down at CCRI in Cranston. The burbs.
The teacher has been involved in beekeeping since the mid-’70s and teaching classes about bees for about ten years, mostly at local agricultural schools. This is the first general-populace course he’s taught. Apparently there’s a big increase in interest lately. Good for the bees!
It was the first of six three-hour classroom sessions, I learned some basics like:
- Kept honeybees are a species first domesticated by the Egyptians.
- Bees eat nectar and pollen.
- Rhode Island is far from an ideal place for commercial beekeeping.
- Queen bees can live as long as five years but workers just live a few months.
- Bee space is 1/4″ to 5/16″, if you leave a bigger gap between parts inside your hive the bees will build honeycomb in it, and if you leave a smaller gap the bees will seal it shut with propolis.
Bees are wicked cool. I already knew that.
We’re looking forward to having a hive or two, even though we may not get much (or even any) honey from them. For us, it’s more about the support of our bee friends than hopes of harvesting honey. Honey production really depends on what the bees find to eat, and whether that’s enough for them to make any extra as the average hive needs about 80 pounds of honey to make it through the winter. 80! See — I actually learned something in class last night.
I’ll let you know how the rest of the classes go.