As a winter project, Jay and I have been attending the annual beginners’ beekeeping school run by the Norfolk County Beekeepers Association. In Massachusetts, every county has a beekeepers association and, I believe, every beekeepers’ association has a bee school!
We’re not 100% sure if we will have bees in this upcoming spring or wait until the next one, but bee school is a crucial first step in learning to raise healthy bees, especially in today’s post-colony collapse, varroa mite affected era. We’re using Beekeeping for Dummies as an informal textbook, and being taught by one of the club’s senior members.
Our bee school meets every Tuesday night, and we’re learning about bee anatomy, equipment, health and diseases, honey collection, and basically every topic to do with bees and beekeeping. Once we’re set up with our hives, this will also give us access to a mentor who will come by and help as needed for our first season.
Signing up for bee school also made us club members, which means we can attend the monthly club meetings that have various topics; the first one we went to was about mead making!
The club also gets together to learn other crafts, like soap making and honey lager brewing.
For anyone considering keeping bees now or in the future, I definitely recommend checking out your local beekeepers’ association.
Meghan Buckley is the co-founder of Stargazer Hollow, and is the business end of the farm.
Meghan handles the website and marketing, accounting, farmers markets, conference planning, and all the other little admin overhead that a farm needs.
She also loves getting her hands dirty, and helps with duck care, vegetable harvesting, and lots of cooking and canning!