GF Contributor Matt joins Eric to talk about his first year of beekeeping. Matt reflects on what real world beginning beekeeping is like after watching the Beekeeping 101 - How to keep bees videos on Gardenfork. Losing a hive, getting stung, how to find the queen in a hive, how not to kill the queen are all touched on.
Matt wrote a series of articles on beginning beekeeping for our site, as he chronicled his first year of beginning beekeeping.
Matt tells us about how to work a hive and yes, you should wear gloves and beehives are heavy. We agree with Rick's use of metal handles, as beehives get heavy.
Beehives die, and why do they die? As Rick says, bees are bugs in a box, and bees don't read books. Eric offers a few reasons why the beehive died: a stressed queen, the queen was crushed when working the bees or putting the hive back together.
Eric gives reasons for not buying bee packages, and especially not having bee packages sent in the mail. Buying local nucs is much better. Matt's experience with beginning beekeeping bears this out. His package of bees died, his nuc is going strong.
Matt talked about a program in Virginia that funds beekeepers,
Matt also talked about homemade or DIY honey extractors, like this one on Mudsongs.org .
We also talk about raised beds, and how to build raised beds using bricks or plastic lumber and the pros and cons of using different materials for building raised beds.
photo by micky07