By: Kim Flottum
Welcome to our second season of BEEKeeping. We’re off to a good start this year we think with a great collection of articles and how-to’s and what-for’s and why’s and when’s and how’s and who’s. Because we do more with honey bees and beekeepers than anybody, anywhere, we have such a breadth and depth of beekeeping skills and knowledge, facts and figures and lifetimes of experience to draw on and to share with you it’s almost unbelievable. But, believe it. We figured it out and guess what…on the pages of this issue alone we share more than 400 years of beekeeping experience. Over 400, from Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Vermont, Maryland, North Carolina and even the UK! Because of our Sister issue Bee Culture, the single largest beekeep-ing magazine on the planet, we can draw on the best and brightest and most talented beekeeping instructors, beekeepers, and honey bee scientists in the world. And we do, every issue. Rest assured, what you get in BEE-Keeping is the best there is, anywhere.
I’m writing this the day after Christmas and because we had a mild and easy day, I quickly walked the bee-yard to see what I could see. And it was a very pleasant stroll. We keep the bees mostly in the back yard here in Northeast Ohio, but we have a couple on the front porch, just because we like them close. Every hive was active and humming and the 55°F temperature made it easy for them to take that (probably) last flight for (maybe) a long time. This isn’t typical Christmas weather, and, as a result, the bees are more active than usual for this time of year – and you’ll learn that’s a mixed blessing – activity means they can move around in the hive and get resettled near more food, but it also means they’ll eat more food because they’re busy flying and moving. The world our bees live in is mostly dictated by what the weather is, and what you are going to do about it. Good weather means lots of food, bad weather means, maybe, not enough food. You have to know to check and see. And this is just one of the many facets of keeping bees you are now a part of. Welcome to BEEKeeping, to honey bees and to the incredible world of being a beekeeper.