Beekeeping can be a little intimidating.
It’s hard to know where to start,
what you need to get going,
where to get the bees.
Here at Turtle Rock Farm we offer
a day-long workshop on beekeeping—
not that we are experts,
but we have a great love of bees
and want to help others learn about bees
and help them get started.
We’ve discovered that a little hands-on experience
makes the undertaking a little less daunting.

Last Saturday five new beekeepers came to the workshop.
They made candy boards,
which are used to feed the bees in winter.
They put together bee houses
—medium supers, foundations and frames
where bees store honey and pollen.
They donned bee suits, gloves and hats
and, with smoker in hand,
visited bees in their hives.
It’s a relief to visit the bees
and learn they won’t come out to sting visitors;
they are busy going about their business
and don’t pay us any attention at all.

People in the workshop last weekend
came to the end of the day with a strong resolve
to get hives ready for spring, so they too can raise bees.
In this age of pesticides and all other environmental hazards
the bees need our help
to provide a safe place for them to thrive.
And we certainly need the bees.