I was dreaming up ways to expand our slice of paradise and was considering adding a couple cows or a pig, when Erick suggested (although he will deny this) that we keep bees. I have been slightly allergic to bees and thus afraid of them for most of life. Upon this suggestion, and more rightfully a late night whim, I ordered us a couple of beesuits online and learned that there was an online beekeeping class opening soon at the University of Montana. Once enrolled, I learned things about bees I had never heard before and my fear turned to wide eyed wonder and a hunger to learn more.
Did you know that 99% of a beehive is made up of female worker bees? There are nurse bees, caretaker bees, drones (the males), and of course the mother herself, the queen bee. In Spring 2023, during the apprentice beekeeping program, I ordered up two nucs and acquired our hive bodies. I quickly joined our local beekeeping club and with the help of my mentor, installed the bees in their new home. This is when I learned that the bees weren't Erick's idea. Maybe it was God or my sister, either way, here they were and as time progressed, I learned to feel a sense of peace and calm knowing that the bees were present. I could talk for a long time about the wonders of the honey bee. This fall we harvested our first honey supers and are very excited to share some of it with you. I love photographing the bees and look forward to year two of the UM master beekeeping program. If you have any questions, do reach out. I am happy to share what I know.