Did you know that:
- A beehive is the original women-owned business. About 95-99% of any beehive's population is FEMALE. The only males are the few drones, who exist solely for the purpose of mating. They have no other job. The girls take care of all the rest-- foraging, guarding, cleaning, producing, and minding the nursery and the queen.
- About 1/3 of the food we eat is a result of pollination by honeybees, and they are responsible for the pollination of more than 100 crops.*
- To produce one pound of honey, honey bees visit two million flowers and fly 55,000 miles.*
(*from Haagen-Dazs' site HelpTheHoneybees.com)
The first time I put on a bee veil and worked a hive was in elementary school. My mother kept some hives for a little while, and we learned from a grumpy old beekeeper man named Elvin who was big and hulking like a giant bear and had a workshop floor sticky with honey. I was hooked! I was fascinated with bees and read everything I could get my hands on about them, including the entire ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture book, which is over 900 pages thick.
Thirty years later, I have realized there is no better time than the present to live my lifelong dream of having my own hives. I live in an urban area in Austin, Texas, but I have a 1.5 acre lot, so we have plenty of room for the bees. Being a writer, I am compelled to share my beekeeping journey. Enjoy!