My father has been a hobbyist bee keeper for over thirty years. About 4 years ago, he retired from his job and became the "Bee Man". Since going professional, he will no longer be able to keep bees in the Olympics, but I have benefited greatly from his example over the years. He has several apiaries in Middle Tennessee.
Since the age of two, I have been going into the bees with him, playing with the drones, trying to find the queen, and trying to keep the smoke out of his face. I continued over the years to go in with him, while wearing the same bee suit for nearly thirty years. On my 30th birthday, I received a my own, brand new bee suit and I knew the torch had been passed. I began to plan for my own bee yard. In 2010, my husband and I decided to move from Middle Tennessee to Athens, GA. I was still determined to carry on my dad's love of caring for bees. This spring, I will receive my first two hives of my own. The task seems daunting, but at least I have a professional on call for any trouble I have.
In exchange for his bee consultation services, I help my dad with his blog. Please check it out @ http://holtbeefarm.blogspot.com/. There is a wealth of knowledge about bees, wintering, queen raising, catching swarms, and various problems and diseases. As exciting as bee diseases sound, the real fun is following the adventures of the Bee Squad from Holt Bee Farms. My dad, Greg, and his side-kick, James, have some very exciting times, usually involving some sort of dangerous, swarm-catching antics (that is of course, when they manage to get away from the college girls and single moms, who are mesmerized by the mere presence of such honey slingers). You will no doubt hear about those wild and crazy guys on this blog as well.
In preparation for my bees (who are scheduled to be ready in mid-April), I have joined the Eastern Piedmont Beekeepers Association. I will pass on the interesting information I learn from those meetings. Also, my dad sends me many great and helpful links that I will post. I hope that in the context of my new beekeeping adventures, the information I pass on to you will be meaningful. If nothing else, I hope that more people will discover what amazing creatures bees are and their importance in our world, like the Latin proverb says, "Neque Mel, Neque Apes" (or No Bees, No Honey). As one of the most important pollinators, there would be WAY more devastating results from the disappearance of bees than the absence of honey (however, as you take that first taste of the season's honey, you can't imagine any worse than not having honey).
I hope you follow and enjoy this blog. I expect an exciting summer of stings and discovery!