(Image courtesy of SolidPerfume.com)
Apartment Therapy (ever heard of them? A great read!) has an interesting article up today about becoming a backyard beekeeper. As food prices rise and people get more interested in sustainable food sources and living-off-the-land, beekeeping is going to become more and more popular in suburbs and cities.
Beekeeping is actually really fun–and you get to eat the local honey you produce. It does take some intense work, however, especially during peak seasons, but I personally think it is well worth the challenge. Warning: if you are allergic to bees, you should not attempt beekeeping under any circumstances! Seriously! You’d be surprised at how many people I know who have gotten into a bad situation doing just that.
For more information, visit the following sites:
The Beekeeper’s Homepage
American Association of Professional Apiculturists
Iowa State University Beekeeping Links
Dadant Beekeeping Supplies
Once I get some land, my beekeeping will shoot up. I can’t wait!
Where there is a shortage, there is crime. Isn’t that always the way? In the wake of the latest colony collapse disorder that is haunting beekeepers and getting entomology departments grants left and right has a new effect–the rise in bee colony theft. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
“As the price of pollination soars, each hive becomes a sitting gold mine, sheriff’s deputies say. Skilled criminals simply dump the colony into a new container, and rent the bees to farmers as their own, pocketing the fee they’re paid for pollination.”
“Just from the buzz that’s out there, our detectives are thinking hive thefts are increasing,” said Bill Yoshimoto, project director for the Central Valley-based Agricultural Crime Technology Information and Operations Network. “If there’s even a further shortage because of bee thefts, that’s a problem for everyone.”
According to the article, rental fees for bee hives, which farmers use to polinate acres of stone fruit crops for maximal fruit set, have risen from $55 per have a few years ago to $200 per hive currently. Who knew people would pick up on the profit margin here? It takes a brave criminal to grab a fully buzzin’ beehive. I don’t know about you, but most of the people I know still panic when an innocent worker bee visits a picnic. These guys must have balls of steel.
This is a neat group–it shows the process bees go through to make a hive. Love it!
So I’m lying in bed, recouperating from my surgery, and I turn on Discovery, right into Dirty Jobs, season two, when he is in Cupertino, CA (near my house! Woo!) with The Bee Man. They remove a huge (and I mean ginormous!) bee hive from a wall of a parsonage. Check it out!