I am a beekeeper.
I’ve dreamt of keeping bees over the last 3 years. I read the books, watched the videos, joined the groups, and followed the Instagramers. About 5 months ago, the bees found me. After years of trying to acquire bees, forging relationships that kind of just fell through the cracks, and Covid, it just never felt like it was the right time. In fact, when I received the call it was totally the wrong time. I have a new baby, I’m still learning how to function as a family of five, and still figuring out how to make my business work through these strange times we’re living in. But how could I say no to my first colony of bees? Well, two–now five colonies. You’ll learn that when I’m in, I’m all in. And I’ve learned that the time is always now. So here I am.
I really needed these bees and I didn’t even know it.
On top of caring for my 3 human children and an entire menagerie of animals at my farm, I tend to the bees weekly. I feed them sugar syrup since the nectar flow in Miami hasn’t quite arrived yet and I change out and paint equipment–boxes, frames, boards, covers–this is all lingo I’ve had to learn along the way. I make sure they aren’t planning to swarm which is just nature’s way of growing bee colonies and continuing their migration. But as a beekeeper, you want to manipulate this to keep them around by making “splits” or splitting colonies in half. I learned this one the hard way when my very first colony swarmed just a few weeks ago and I am now left to help them rebuild and start fresh this spring.
I make sure that the pattern seen on each frame is as close to textbook as possible and if it isn’t then I come up with a plan (or call my mentor in a state of panic–which I have done before). I even went as far as helping a friend rescue a colony of bees that took residence in a tree. I am happy to report that they are now living at my farm and happily thriving–with a brand new queen that I helped them raise.
I’m really proud of myself for jumping in on this.
The bees have taught me to set time aside for myself and my hobbies. To focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking all of the time, assess, and take a step back and come in calm and without reservations. I am very much the type of person who is constantly on the go, moving from one project to the next, bouncing from the house to the barn and from the garden to the apiary. If I’ve learned anything at all, it is to slow down and take in all of the little moments.