I am a beginner beekeeper in Carrollton, Georgia. I acquired my first hive (5 frame nuc) in March, 2013 from a supplier in Griffin, Georgia. I then added 2 more hives from 2lb packages of bees in April, 2013 from Dixie Bee Supply (Fat Bee Man). Goal: 60 hives by the end of 2013. This blog will be a timeline of my progress of becoming a full-time beekeeper.
I believe in and try to live my life by the following philosophies: do-it-yourself, recycle, organic, and buy local.
In November, 2012, Kristi and I moved to Georgia from South Florida, where we both held tech-support jobs. It was after the long hours and years that we decided the money wasn’t worth the damage it was causing to our health. We decided that being happy and having less stress was more important than getting the latest iPhone or going out to eat every meal. Now we live out in rural Georgia and venture into town only about once a week to shop for groceries.
Now that we live in the country, we currently have chickens, ducks, and pigs and hope to expand to rabbits, goats, and other types of fowl like turkeys and geese. We also are starting a garden. We originally wanted the bees for local pollination of our garden produce, however, after a 20 minute conversation with Don, the Fat bee Man, out of Lula, Georgia; my love of bees has grown to an obsession. Don explained that the bee trade is so much more than just honey. Imagine, these little workers at the direction of their queen continue gathering pollen, laying new eggs, and expanding daily. It isn’t long until you can split your hive into 2. This rate of growth is a miracle of nature, which is why the news of colony collapse disorder is such a disaster. If you can double the amount of colonies in your bee yard every month, and yet bee farmers are seeing a 30%+ drop in the number of total hives they have, this is a major concern. What is causing this? No one is 100% sure, as it is most likely a combination of multiple factors including but not limited to neonicotinoid pesticides, destruction of bee habitats, bee immunity to parasites declining due to the use of corn syrup to supplement feeding, and less beekeepers due to the impending threat that colony collapse disorder will wipe out most or all of their colonies over a single winter.
My hobbies include DIY construction and auto mechanics. I have assisted in the building of a 2-story structure from the ground up, along with many at-home projects including electrical, drywall, painting and other miscellaneous remodeling. Beekeepers should have a basic knowledge of carpentry in order to fabricate your own hive boxes, dramatically cutting the cost of beekeeping, especially if you can obtain free wood from sources like craigslist and free pallets at local stores.
This page will detail my first year of beekeeping and serve to inform the problems and solutions that first time or even experienced beekeepers can expect to encounter during their time as a bee farmer. Although I’ve only just started, I can see working with bees for a very long time. I look forward to learning more from the Fat Bee Man when I take his beekeeping course.
Whether you’re thinking about getting a backyard hive or have already started your bee yard, I look forward to sharing my information with you in hopes to help the honeybee epidemic that is continuing to threaten our food sources and cause grocery prices to skyrocket.