If you ever get a chance to get to know the Blackwell Gardener (Christina) you would soon find out that she never stops dreaming. Even when her plate is over full she will keep looking into more amazing things to build and do. I think her real hobby is not any of the things she does, but actually coming up with new hobbies. That’s where our beekeeping started. Once the Blackwell Gardener mentioned it, the Blackwell Bee Keeper (Chad) knew that was the hobby for him.
Like any new project, keeping bees can be a bit daunting. After a few conversations and articles online I learned that there are many ways to keep bees. This meant that it was going to take a lot of research to get an idea on what kind of beekeeper I wanted to be. I chatted with a local beekeeper who practices traditional beekeeping and he recommended reading Beekeeping for Dummies. While this is a great book to get anyone started on the fundamentals, it is short on how to raise bees with the least amount of interference. So I branched out and read More than Honey and watched the video with the same name. This really opened by eyes to the thought that we could try keeping bees with as little intervention as possible.
I can’t remember how, but somehow I stumbled upon The Bee Vlog (https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBeeVlog and https://www.facebook.com/TheBeeVlog/) This YouTube channel is just what I needed! Set up by a regular guy with a regular name (Bill), this Vlog shows his vulnerable start with bees and works through his first couple of years. He still post videos from time to time.
I watched every video of his first year from beginning to end. I became a bit obsessed and my family grew a little tired of hearing about and seeing bees every night for about a month. The great things about these videos is that when I started keeping my own bees a few months later I felt like I had done it before. The first time I opened my hives, I felt calm. I credit my first year success to everything I learned from Bill. I really should get a t shirt that says “Everything I know about beekeeping I learned from Bill.”
This was the beginning. Really you don’t have to do as much research as I did to get started. However, I think there was some success the first year because of the hours of work put in ahead of time. This is my beginning.