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Our Bees


We started out gardening as kids and continue it as adults because of the obvious benefits and rewards. I’m not sure there is anything better than the fresh food we harvest from our own backyard; when food is fresh and simple, it is hard to beat!


About six years ago I had a great garden with healthy plants and lots of blossoms but I didn’t end up with much fruit. It was during that year that I first noticed there were fewer bees around than usual. By happenstance, a work colleague was asking about my Chile crop and I mentioned to him that it seemed like I had less fruit than usual and that I wasn’t seeing as many bees working the plants. As it tuned out he was a beekeeper and mentioned that I should consider getting some bees. It’s funny, it seemed like an off the wall suggestion back then, and when I mentioned it to my friends they thought it was more than a little peculiar, but now it seems like an obvious no-brainer.



As I took the time to read and consider what I might be getting myself into it was late summer and I realized it was probably not an ideal time to start a new hive, so I continued to read and I signed up for a beekeeping class that was run by a local bee club during the winter. The following spring I purchased two nucleus hives from a local breeder of New England bees. I thought the idea of buying bees that were bred locally, and had survived the cold New England winters was a great idea, especially considering the fact that honeybees don’t hibernate; they survive the winter by clustering together and shivering to produce heat. It’s amazing to me when I look outside of my house during a stretch of days that don’t make it out of the single digits and think they are somehow managing out there! They really are amazing creatures and they should be admired for all they do!



My first bees were “Italians” and were “survivor stock” that persevered through 30 winters in New England. In truth these bees probably started out as Italian bees but were cross bred with other races of bees over the years. Each season since that first year I have increased the number of hives by one or two, and have lost a few over the winter. We currently have several hives with different races of bees including Russian, Carniolan, Italian and Hybrid (mixed) which are the results of splitting strong hives and letting the virgin queens mate naturally in our yard.


If you are looking for an interesting hobby you should consider beekeeping! Try doing a search on honeybees when you have some time and do a bit of reading. If you admire hard work, organization, loyalty, consideration, cleanliness, courage and resourcefulness you’ll love being around honey bees!