by Drew Spacht
My first time beekeeping I was told that it would be good to minimize any chance of being mistaken for a bear. Apparently, honeybees don’t enjoy the company of bears, and to that end, what you wear around beehives matters. I am pretty short and nowhere near as furry as a bear, but I figured it would be best to listen to the experts. I took care to dress appropriately: bright shirt, light jeans, and sneakers. The last thing I wanted was to get stung. I grew up with a mother who is deathly allergic to honeybee venom, and I feel like that had instilled an additional layer of bee-related caution compared to most people. Long story short, it was worth the extra effort to dress as I was told.
Arriving at my friend’s hives, I was caught a little off-guard. We were in a lightly wooded area surrounded by farmland. It wasn’t the first place I expected to find hives. Invasive plants filled the lot, and I was told that they would eventually clear all of those out and replace them with native plants. They weren’t just repurposing land for their honeybees, they were ensuring its suitability to native pollinators as well. As I processed this little observation, I came to realize that I didn’t see any hives. Where could they be?
|Hive in the Woods: One of the Miller’s beehives at their property in Cardington, Ohio. These box hives are the Langstroth-style hives that likely come to mind when one discusses beekeeping.|
|Hive Entrance: Foraging bees coming and going during the peak of the fall bloom. This last push for nectar and pollen will ensure the hive has enough food to survive the winter.|