America's newest backyard hobby!
Attendance was high at yesterday's beekeeping workshop at Maritz in Fenton, held by the Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Association. The "how to" workshop introduced beginners to this fascinating hobby which has hives sprouting up in urban backyards, not just farms and big producers anymore. (With the recent mysterious decline in honey bee colonies worldwide, there's increasing interest in studying and protecting our valuable pollinator friends.)
Now is the best time to start new hives, before the spring nectars start flowing. Participants learned how to assemble their new hives, position them safely near flowering plants (and safely away from human traffic,) and order their new colony of bees (usually 3,000 to start with one special queen to serve.) By summer's end, each hive will contain up to 60,000 bees.
The most popular hive design was invented by Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth in 1860, and has remained basically unchanged through the years, still serving 75% of the world's bee keepers. Each hive holds 10 side-by-side frames, with plastic screens which will hold the beeswax honeycomb formed by bees.
We wouldn't survive without our friends, the honeybees,
as we count on them to pollinate most of the foods we eat.
(For more information on beekeeping in your area contact http://www.easternmobeekeepers.com/)