Beekeeping: Try Before You Buy


| 10/21/2014 8:26:00 AM


Tags: honeybees, beekeeping, Gretchen Anderson, Idaho,

I love to research before I buy. I read the reviews on Amazon. I ask friends for their opinions. I taste the frozen yogurt before I commit. So, when I found out Idaho's capital city has a active beekeeping club that will mentor and even connect you to beekeepers who will let you "try before you buy," I was sold!

Bee Benefits

I had wanted bees for many years, for the pollination benefits, the raw honey and the wonderfulHoney Pot and Honey Bears wax. As a gardener, I knew about the Colony Collapse Disorder that is killing bees at an alarming rate. I figured the more people who can successfully keep bees, the better, for the sake of everyone’s environment. I also knew I needed to school myself before jumping in, feet first. I attended a bee keeping class offered by community education in Boise and I read everything I could find on raising bees.

Rent-a-Bee

During the class, the presenters mentioned how some members of the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club had an abundant number of hives and some of them (on their own—and not affiliated with the club) had taken to renting out hives during the growing season. This sounded great! Like at the yogurt shop, I could try—before I buy! 

However, I wasn't certain bees were actually allowed in my neighborhood. So, I researched our restrictive covenants in our subdivision and perused the city code. Fortunately, there wasn't anything on the books standing in my way.

On the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club website, there’s a map that pinpoints the various beekeepers who rent hives. I found the closest beekeeper and called. For $175 a season, I rented the woodenware (nuc and first box), a queen and 20,000 of her industrious friends. My bee mentor, Mike Morrison, brought the bees over very early one spring day. The bees are docile in the wee hours of the morning, so he was able to easily put them in the back of his hatchback-style car and drive them over to our yard.

Beehive Arrival and Placement

Beehive Placement in BackyardIt was early season and still a bit chilly in the mornings. So, we chose a sunny location for the hive that wouldn’t be disturbed by kids, dogs or sprinklers. Once the hive was level and the sun warmed it, the bees immediately went to work on pollinating the yard.




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