Friday, September 4, 2009

sweet as honey

I've been keeping bees in my backyard for just over 3 years now, and I love it. This is an easy beginning urban farmer activity that I highly recommend to folks. It's easier than you think, and really only takes much effort a few times a year. My hive is based on the Kenyan Top Bar Hive design developed by Conrad Berube for the Peace Corps, and it's easy to build yourself. (Or in my case, have your handy husband build for you.) It's a sort of low-tech, organic way of keeping bees, and doesn't require an extractor or a lot of expensive equipment for harvesing honey. The bees build natural comb and when you harvest, you get the honey as well as the wax, so it's great if you make candles or soap or things like that. I just harvested about a half bucket full of honey in August, and will take some more in October. The honey is amazing, and considering that organic local honey in the store runs about $15/jar, I feel lucky to get it for free. And, by eating seriously local honey (can't get much more local than my back yard!), my hayfever improves every year. The bees are almost all female, and are lead by a queen too, so beekeeping always feel somewhat feminist to me. Here are some pics of my hive and my latest harvest....

No comments:

Post a Comment