Well, yesterday evening was eventful. I heard a wild cat (or a fisher? – see the comments) in the street. Someone in a drive-by knocked our mailbox right off its perch. I saw the brake lights, heard the crash, the door slam and it speeding off, but it was too dark even to see the color of the car. And before that, I had my first class of Bee School – and this one’s about that.
I take Rick Reault’s class at Codman Farm in Lincoln. About 35 people showed up; there was barely enough room to contain all of us. The instructor told us this matches the growing trend of the number of (small) beekeepers in our county and in New England.
He also told us that, these days, about 50% of the honey bee population (in hives) dies every year.
Half the bees!
Suppliers (growers) of bees cannot keep up with this rate. He didn’t want to go into the causes yet – that will be the third class, which is on diseases and stresses. But things are not going in the right direction.
I am keen on starting a hive. My neighbors gave us the thumbs up. There is no red tape to trip me up: no town rules and no need for permits in my town. Rick said there should be plenty of food for a hive in a New England suburb. He stressed beekeeping is challenging, in both senses of the word. He emphasized the need for honeybees. He gave us a sense of their plight, and I know about our plight, if we lose more honeybees.
If I want to get a hive this year (set up is in April), I would have to order by the end of February at the latest.
I need to decide soon!