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Tri-County Beekeepers’ Association Workshop

March 9th, 2009

On Friday and Saturday Mr Chiots and I attending the Ohio State University Extension and Tri-County Beekeepers’ Association 31st Annual Beekeeping Workshop. We really learned a lot and had a great time, we even saw an old friend who’s getting into bees this year as well.
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The workshop started on Friday evening with a tour of the beekeeping museum, which was very interesting. It was really neat to see the different kinds of hives and all of the old tools, I especially loved this old glass sided hive.
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After the tour, we attending a honey tasting session. I think this was the highlight of the seminar for Mr Chiots! It was very interesting to taste all the different kinds of honey that come from different flowers and different countries.
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There were light honey and dark honey as well as honey from clover, citrus, sage, tupelo, buckwheat and many more. Next time I am at a good grocery store I’m going to try a few different kinds of honey.
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We each picked out a favorite; Mr Chiots really liked the dark buckwheat honey and I loved the Manuka honey from New Zealand.
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The second day of the workshop was full of learning seminars for all kinds of beekeepers. Since we’re newbies, we attended all of the classes for new beekeepers. They were very informative and we learned some great things.
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There were also some instructional workshops going on in between sessions. Mr Chiots and I learned how to wire up our frames for our hive, which we’ll be doing next warm day we get.
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Overall it was a very informative seminar, I’m really looking forward to getting my bees in April.

Would you ever keep bees in your garden? Or are you scared of them? (take the poll)

18 Comments to “Tri-County Beekeepers’ Association Workshop”
  1. Mangochild on March 9, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Before I answer the question, I must preface with: If I had gone to that workshop, the answer might well be different!
    As it is, I am scared of bees, because I am allergic to their stings. But with that said, one of most interesting side effects of moving into my Local Zone is that the garden has helped me overcome my long-standing fear of bugs/insects. I have always had a terror of them, even the smallest fly, ant, etc. If I saw one, it would be high-pitched shrieking until it was caught and removed. But over the past year, that has vanished. Sure, I’m not the biggest fan, but I see their uses in the garden (well, some anyway) and more than that, I am too busy growing and seeding and enjoying and tending to worry about the bugs that do appear. As if the joy has taken out the fear.
    Back to the bees though – even if I never end up keeping bees (and it is doubtful that I would) I would love to go to a workshop like that. It sounds like everyone was really open and friendly, and something that would make what is otherwise daunting seem accessible. Plus all the taste-testing can’t hurt either :-)

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Spotlight: Dark Days Challenge Week 16

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  2. Ben on March 9, 2009 at 8:09 am

    I built a top bar hive for this summer that I am hoping a swarm thinks is a good place to live. we will have to see.

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  3. Jennifer on March 9, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Mangochild hit the nail on the head for me. I’m afraid because I’m allergic, but I see their usefulness in the garden/farm/system/etc. I would also run screaming from them until the past year – now I can take pictures of them, but have to work to maintain calm and not run away :)

    SJ would love to keep bees one day – we actually go through a lot of honey (he eats it, and we cook with it, 1/4 cup is in each loaf of bread!). I’m not sure we’ll be able to, it depends on the town we end up buying a house in.

    The local apiaries have tons of different kinds of honey. I don’t eat it raw, but SJ says they taste different. They don’t make the bread taste any different though – so we usually just get regular plain old wildflower local honey. :)

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  4. Pine Pod Farm on March 9, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I know my friend’s that attended the workshop since they’re bee inspectors for Wayne and Holmes County! We’re not getting into bees.

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  5. Squawkfox on March 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I am fascinated by beekeeping and the honey-making process. Every year my “better half” and I attend the farm fairs and spend hours in the beekeeping area. There is such an art and science to keeping bees – it’s amazing. Now, would I ever venture into this as a hobby or otherwise? – probably not. I appreciate the skill and know I would need to spend years to get it right.

    Squawkfox’s last blog post.. 6 Words That Make Your Resume Suck

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  6. warren on March 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Most folks are not truly allergic to bees…not in the “you have moments to live” sort of way anyhow. Almost everyone reacts to bee stings though. That is, almost everyone swells and itches to varying degrees. Beekeeping, if done very carefully, can be a sting free (or very nearly so) pursuit. I typically am not that concerned with stings as their effect has pretty much worn off on me, so I am not as careful as a more “allergic” person would be. All that being said, bees are a help to any garden and folks should not fear them in most cases. I have a number of hives very local to where my kids play and they have each only been stung once…ever (and my son’s sting was in the swimming pool by a bee that was getting a drink!).

    Now about honey…taste tests like you did are awesome1 I have only ever found one variety of honey that was just plain nasty – chestnut honey. It was awful. Others I like to varying degrees but chestnut was beyond words!

    warren’s last blog post.. The other girls in my life

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  7. Susy on March 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    You’re right Warren. I’m allergic to yellow jackets (I suppose honey bees as well?). But I’m not too worried about it, I usually take some benadryl when I’m stung. I may talk to my Dr about keeping a stronger medication on hand just in case.

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  8. Judy on March 9, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I would love to have bees. In fact, I think we’re going to make an offer on an acreage that we’ve been looking at. Part of the land is fairly low and a bit on the wet side. I was thinking about selectively sowing wild flowers and putting a hive of bees or two on one of the hillsides. I would have so much to learn, though. What a great chance to go to that seminar.

    Judy’s last blog post.. Independence Days- week 14

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  9. Dan on March 9, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Looks like a popular workshop by all those seated. If I didn’t live in the city I would like to keep bee’s although I could never be the one to harvest the honey.

    I have always looked at the dark buckwheat honey but have never tried it, I will have to after hearing Mr Chiot’s review. All the different honeys are very interesting. I love honey on my oatmeal in the morning with raisins too.

    Dan’s last blog post.. Chicken Noodle Soup

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  10. Susy on March 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Yeah, there were over 600 people in attendance. From what I hear, it’s the biggest workshop in the country.

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  11. Kelly Butler on March 10, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Susy, I can’t wait to hear more about this!!! TOO COOL!!!

    Kelly Butler’s last blog post..

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  12. deedee on March 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    i can’t help but comment on the pic of mr chiots tasting honey… :) i miss you guys!

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  13. andrea on March 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Yea, bees! I can’t wait until we get ours (likely next year). It was so neat to hear about you doing a tasting. I’ve tasted many over time (I kind of collect honey – love it!) I was commenting to say that you HAVE to taste chestnut honey – it’s probably my favorite. Then I saw warren’s post and had to laugh! I picked some up in Italy and try to save it for special things like drizzling over warm goat cheese spread on crostini {drool}. A close favorite is tupelo and I order some every so often from Smiley apiary in FL (heard about him in the book Robbing the Bees – a great read if you haven’t already found it). Just got some for my birthday – hooray! Also have to second your love of manuka honey. My husband is from NZ and I stock up on several obscure varieties of honey when we are there. Manuka is wonderful, but some of the other native varieties are quite strong. Can’t wait to hear more about your bee adventures.

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  14. warren on March 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Susy – I keep an epi-pen on hand just in case. My doc gives me a script each year with no troubles. I am not allergic and have never had to use it but it’s wise to be prepared in case…typically though, if I get a lot of stings (20 or more at a time..always through my own stupidity), I take liquid benadryl right away. I don’t get sick if I skip it but I feel better if I take it. Liquid should get into you faster than the pills…just some thoughts…

    warren’s last blog post.. Long live the queen!

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  15. Chris Merkle on March 11, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Hello All,
    Very nice postings… I’m the rather tired looking guy in the last photo (wiring-up frames). Must not have had my coffee yet. It is nice to read about so many good comments about bees… So many people see them as stinging pests, rather than the great pollinators that they are. Not to mention the supplier of honey… Some quick comments. I love buckwheat honey too, never tried Manuka, Tupalo is great, we had 750 people attend this years beekeeping workshop, it is our 31st year at putting it on. There are many towns/cities that allow beekeeping within their limits, check with your town hall for any rules about keeping bees. Due to the high humidity, bees don’t do as well in low, wetlands. They need to dry/cure the nectar into honey and some bee diseases like humidity. So, the drier hillside would be a better location. I agree with the comments about (near) stingless beekeeping and reactions people have to bee stings. Sometimes I go a year or two without getting stung once. If you move “slowly” while working the bees they don’t see you as a big threat. I do wear a full protective suit and I do use gloves most of the time. Taking them off to handle a queen, opening a zip lock bag, etc… After keeping bees for 37 years I still swell-up some when I get stung. Benedryl is good to use and I also have an Epi-Pen kit just in case and also for visitors. Never had to use it. I normally keep 8 to 20 hives on my two acres in the farmland. This winter was hard on northern Ohio bees. I lost 11 out of 22 hives due to the long cold spell we had. I feel blessed because several of my fellow beekeepers lost all their hives. Thanks for your interest in bees and honey… BTW – Our club (TCBA) does have monthly meetings in Wooster. I can give more info if requested.

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  16. Susy on March 12, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Chris – thanks so much for stopping by and giving us a good bit of information.

    That’s too bad that you lost so many hives this year. I have thought about joining the Tri-County Beekeepers Club. I am going to join my local on, The Carroll County Club. But I hear the Tri-County club is excellent.

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  17. inadvertent farmer on March 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    We keep bees…have had up to 7 colonies. Unfortunately we lost all but one to colony collapse disorder.

    We are trying again this year with our old colony as well as adding a few new ones from the swarms my hubby always gets each summer.

    Gook luck with your beekeeping adventure…it is well worth it.

    BTW…we have wild blackberry honey! Kim

    inadvertent farmer’s last blog post.. Winter’s Only Rose

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    • Susy on March 12, 2009 at 11:30 pm

      MMMMM, blackberry honey. That sounds delicious. We have tons of blackberries that bloom around here. I bet we’ll have some blackberry honey too. That’s too bad about your bees. I hope you can get some swarms. I’d love to get a swarm, but I’m starting off buying a package for my first hive.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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