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Guess What’s Coming this Spring

February 3rd, 2009

Guess what I’m reading up on for the new addition to the gardens here Chiot’s Run?
That’s right, beekeeping. I’m hoping to join a local beekeeping club and get my first hive this spring. My grandpa & dad used to keep them and my dad has a box hive he’s going to give me. It’s painted bright white and it has a copper roof, it will be lovely in the garden (and I’m going to be quite smashing in that hat).
I think this will be a great addition to our gardens. I always buy local honey from local beekeepers, but I would like to make my own. That way I know that it won’t have pesticides or chemicals in it. Warren from My Home Among the Hills keeps bees. I’m sure if I have any questions he’d be happy to help.

Anyone else out there keeping bees? Or do you just buy local honey?

16 Comments to “Guess What’s Coming this Spring”
  1. Jennifer on February 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I got this book for SJ a couple of years ago for christmas – and we always visit the honey hut at Topsfield fair. We go through a fair amount of honey (it’s in our bread recipes, and SJ makes honey and peanut butter sandwiches). We don’t have the room to keep our own bees – and there’s local ordinances for each county/town about them (like chickens!). We do try and buy local honey, and a local apiary sells at the farmer’s markets here. There’s also a honey CSA, but we didn’t think we’d go through 60 lbs of honey in a year, and couldn’t find anyone to share with.

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  2. Pine Pod Farm on February 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

    How fun! We have some friends that raise bees so once in awhile we’ll get honey from their farm.

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  3. warren on February 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    How exciting! I am absolutely happy to help with any information I can provide! It took me a few times in the hive to get over the intimidation factor but I was quickly hooked on beekeeping. The book you have is a great one and I also recommend Beekeeping for Dummies. I usually hate dummies books but it is a really great introduction to beekeeping. You might also take a look at the movie series “A Year in the Life of an Apiary” by Keith Delaplane from the Univ of GA. In my mind, it’s a “Must-view” for new beekeepers. Anyhow, I can’t wait to see your progress with bees!

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  4. Judi in Pa on February 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Hey, I am excited for you too. I am getting four hives in the spring and I am way excited too! I used to have two hives but that was 12 years ago, but babies and other things took presendence. The copper roof has me a tad envious! Your local beekeeping club is probably your best bet, but please get in contact with someone NOW, about a hive. (I don’t mean to be so bossy, but I waited until it was too late last spring.) Can’t wait to see you in that hat!

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  5. Maureen on February 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t wait to follow you on this adventure….we buy local honey but would LOVE to keep bees….for all kinds of reasons!

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  6. Susy on February 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks Judi, I have contacted a few local clubs and they all are pretty active (one has a spring convention with over 600 people in attendance). I’m hoping to attend a meeting in the next week or two and find a hive asap.

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  7. deedee on February 3, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    i cannot wait to see the pics of you in the hat! we buy our honey from one of our customers who keeps bees. he keeps us well stocked!

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  8. Kelly on February 3, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    You amaze me girl!How cool are you??? So….when can we start buying our honey from you? ;) We do buy local honey from a girl that works for Charlie that has a hive.

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  9. Susy on February 3, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    It’s good to hear that everyone’s buying local honey! I think that’s the first step to going local.

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  10. Mangochild on February 4, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Very exciting! There is no way I could keep bees, both for the zoning/permit reasons, but also because I am allergic to bee stings. And there’d at least be some chance of getting stung.
    But… I do buy local honey all the time, from different bee keepers to keep the variety in taste and support them all. It is amazing the difference in flavor, both compared to commercial honey and between each local farmer.

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  11. Jennifer on February 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Our local apiary travels with their bees to different areas – they get blueberry honey from Maine, and cranberry honey from nantucket – I wish they had pumpkin honey – it’s supposed to be good! I can taste the difference in the different flavors, but mostly use it for cooking (and SJ’s sandwiches). :)

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  12. Susy on February 4, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Pumpkin honey sounds great. I buy some honey from a local squash & pumpkin farm. I wonder if that’s considered pumpkin honey? It’s super tasty.

    I love buying local honey because it all tastes different. I’m hoping my honey will be tasty, I have a lot of herbs in the gardens here, particularly thyme which I think will make for some good honey!

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  13. AgrarianLife on February 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    We love honey too, and have thought of trying bees so many times, but the winters are hard here, and most beekeepers here have about a 50% winter survival rate. We do buy some local honey too. But this year we are going to try growing sugar beets, and making sugar beet syrup. It would be much the same consistency of honey, but probably not as delicious! I’ll still buy some honey for our tea.

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  14. Kelly on February 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    How exciting!

    I looked into keeping bees. Unfortunately they’re considered “livestock” in my town and therefore, technically illegal to keep (same goes with chickens, or even if you have more than two dogs, doesn’t matter how big your property is, it’s ridiculous).

    I am looking further into mason bees though. No honey, but I’m all for keeping our little bees alive and providing them with a home. I get pollination for my veggies out of the deal, so I don’t think I’ll miss the honey ;).

    Plus I can keep them in something that looks like a birdhouse, so if the city guys are sniffing around they won’t suspect a thing.

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  15. Allie on February 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    That’s awesome! We’d been thinking of keeping bees last year, but funds were tight b/c we put a new roof on the house right when we would have had to start purchasing supplies. This year, things are crazy. But I can’t wait to read how it goes. Maybe we’ll start next year.

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  16. Howling Duck Ranch on March 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Hello there Chiot!

    Thanks for commenting on my post today and leading me to your wonderful blog. I have a couple of questions for you: where do you get the lovely little jars that you keep your maple syrup in (the ones in the photo)? And, what is it like keeping bees? I’ve never done it before and am planning on making the leap this spring. Any advice would ‘bee’ appreciated! I’m about to order them from NZ if you can imagine (I can’t believe they come all the way from there, but that is what the supplier tells me). Ironically, they are coming from the very place we used to buy honey from when we lived in NZ. Funny how life just keeps coming full circle eh.



    Howling Duck Ranch’s last blog post.. Dabbling elsewhere

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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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