Thanks to Britt and her highly intentional way of living, every year we try to add something to enrich how we do life at home. Whether it’s growing a family veggie garden, raising chickens, or reading books as a family…although I may be the primary doer (well, not the reading part), Britt’s the primary finder of ways to enhance our lives around our humble abode.
Well this past year we added beekeeping to the mix. And despite the strange looks from friends when we tell them of our newest endeavor, I can truly say that raising bees has certainly sweetened our lives. Pun definitely intended.
Bees Make Life Sweeter…And In Ways You May Not Expect
Besides the obvious…having some tasty honey that couldn’t be more local, one of the sweetest things for me has been watching and working the hives with my youngest daughter, aka Littlest One. When the nectar is really flowing and the bees are really busy she and I will often find ourselves just sitting just outside the hive. The bees’ comings and goings are truly mesmerizing. What I can most closely compare it to is watching the flames of a campfire. It’s almost hypnotic.
You’ll see what I’m talking about in the video below. And make sure to watch it in full screen so that you can see the bees that are drunkardly landing with what looks like huge yellow saddlebags…that’s pollen! So cool…right?!?
And besides the entertainment value raising bees provides, it has been so very cool…fascinating really…to learn how, why, and when bees do what they do…and how all that positively impacts our lives.
A Bee’s Life, by Littlest One Scott
Well, soon after we started raising bees, Littlest One was so excited to show me a book she had created at school in science class – “A Bee’s Life”. Not only do I think she beautifully illustrated each page (and the feature image above!), it was also so helpful to me as a first-time beekeeper. (Remember, I’m a doer. So with most of these endeavors I do very little of my learning through front-end research and most of it by doing.) Understanding the life cycle of a bee and the different roles bees play in their colony really shed a great deal of light on what I was observing with our hive.
So with that very long set-up, I thought I’d share her book with you.
Why Raising Bees is Important
Littlest One’s book is really cool…right?!? I’m a proud daddy!
But with all pride and cuteness aside, intentionality is at the core of why Britt and I have pursued what some may say are kinda wacky things at home…particularly in the burbs. We not only want to live healthier lives, we also want to make sure that our girls know where real food comes from and give them an opportunity to get some dirt under their nails. School and your typical extra-curricular activities are great. But these other things are critical and tough to come by…unless you are intentional and seemingly wacky.
And besides all of the work our honey-darlings are doing on our 3/4s of an acre, they are doing a lot of work for our neighbors within a 2-3 mile radius too. You’re welcome Atlanta!
But before I jump off my mini-soapbox, as Littlest One aptly concluded A Bee’s Life above…with Albert Einstein’s quote, I’d be remiss to not mention how important bees are to each and every one of us. It’s estimated that 1 in every 3 bites of food we eat come from bee pollination. Obviously, that’s the fruits and veggies we eat…but it’s also the fruits and veggies that the animals eat that we…some of us…eat. I’d say that’s pretty important.
And that’s particularly concerning when you hear that bees are dying at an alarming rate. A study by Koh et al. found that between 2008 and 2013 “bee abundance declined across 23% of US land area”. No matter how you look at it, that can’t be good. [To read more about the importance of bees, I’d recommend this article I found on The Honeybee Conservancy website.]
Get At It!
So if you are a beekeeper wannabee, I’d highly encourage you to jump in and give it a try. Now’s the time to start planning and buying all your equipment & bees. You need to go ahead and get all your bees in a row, so to speak.
To help you out, I promise that Littlest One and I will be better about posting more on our beekeeping efforts next spring when the flowers start blooming…and as we add a 2nd hive to the Scott family suburbian menagerie. Heck, what’s another 60K+ bees buzzing around?!?
And if you want to do more research on beekeeping than I did, here are 2 books I’d recommend to the beekeeping newbee, (see what I keep doing there?!?): Beekeeping for Dummies & The Beekeeper’s Handbook.
Alright, I think that’s enough for now. Until next time…
Take care friends,
(and Littlest One)