A Few Words of Introduction

Reader Contribution by Kim Flottum
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A few words of introduction:

I’ve been associated with honey bees for more than 30 years. I haven’t been an active beekeeper for all of that time though — almost not at all in the beginning — but now honey bees and beekeepers dominate my life.

My day job is editing a beekeeping magazine and that keeps me right in the middle of almost everything that’s going on in the whole world of honey bees. Some of what I do is proactive (sometimes very proactive) — working to get things changed. I am not always a neutral, disinterested journalist finding, interpreting and relating the facts that make a story. Being a beekeeping advocate is one thing we do here.

Some of what we do is just that though: producing neutral, disinterested stories that get necessary information into the hands of people who can use or need what we offer. That’s another part of what we do.

But the best, the most interesting, and the most useful part of our job here is finding those nuggets of technique, style, management or biology that readers can use to make their beekeeping easier, faster, more cost effective, more fun, better for the bees and better for the earth. That’s what we like to do best and we do a lot of it.

Trying to change the things we see that need changing, and getting the newest, bestest, latest beekeeping information posted here is what we want to do now. For quite some time we did mostly that for another blog, entitled The Beekeeper. That was for www.thedailygreen.com that started about four years ago, about the same time Colony Collapse Disorder came onto the scene, devouring colonies by the thousands, and destroying beekeeping operations by the hundreds. They were concerned and they wanted to be kept up to date. So for several years we kept them up to date, giving good information to beekeepers and to those who were concerned about honey bees and their keepers. And though they have gone in a different direction, they wisely kept all of our original information on this crucial subject, so if you are interested check it out.

Colony Collapse Disorder is still among us, and when new or necessary information comes to light we’ll still do everything we can to make it known as soon as we can, for beekeepers, and those concerned about bees and their keepers. And now, that might be you.

Our magazine also has a web page, with lots of good information: Contacts for local beekeeping groups, honey bee scientists and researchers, apiary inspectors, (the regulators in our midst), over 50 tried and true links we like (including this great web site), archived articles, and lots more. If you get a chance take a look for lots of good, solid beekeeping information that you can use, and that you can trust, as we’ve been in the beekeeping business for over 140 years.

When I’m not engrossed in the day job part of my life Kathy and I have chickens, a garden, some fruit trees (not many any more), a large yard, flower beds full of bee plants, a deck with a hundred or so ornamentals on it for the joy of flowers, and some bees. Our bees are in, mostly, 8-frame equipment…I’m not nearly as athletic as I used to be and lifting 8-frame medium supers full of honey is a lot more to my liking than those 10-frame deeps I used to use. (When I was working at the USDA Bee Lab in Wisconsin they used something called a Modified Dadant hive. It was square and had 12 frames that were bigger than the deep frames used today and they weighed a ton.) But we have some 10-frame equipment in deeps to stock the two large and active observation hives we operate: one in the Library in town, and the other at the Retail Candle store our company operates. We also have a top bar hive that still has us on a learning curve, and we have something called a Beehaus, an imported hive from the UK that is unlike anything you have ever seen.

But no matter what check back here every once in awhile. The editors here want something every week or so, so that’s a clue. We’ve got lots to explore in the world of bees, and we’ll keep you up to date on the newest ideas in the bee world, goings on with our observation hives, 8 frame equipment, top bar hives, the Beehaus, honey bee plants, and some of the oldest, tried and true beekeeping tricks and secrets that will make your beekeeping adventure as much fun as all those books you read when you started said it should be.

So for now, keep your smoker lit, your hive tool handy and your bee veil tight — this is going to be a lot of fun.

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