Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beekeeping 101

Today Joe and I had the first class in a four-class series in beginning beekeeping out at Green Gulch Zen Center. This represents the culmination of a long dream for me - I've honestly been interested in keeping bees for years, and am so glad that we're now on our way. I was surprised at how many people were in attendance, and at how most of them were from San Francisco, looking for ways to keep bees in an urban environment. Super cool!

So much of what we heard today echoed what know and think about the state of the planet: bees are dying due in large measure to the madness of commercial beekeeping, in which bees are trucked from Florida to California to pollinate the almond orchards, for example, subjected to the stresses of the transport, the chemicals used, the mono-culture diet. This is the same crap that is making us all sick and poisoning the earth in general. We're excited about doing our part to add more bees to our patch of the world.

Our teacher, Alan Hawkins, is all about natural beekeeping which suits us fine. We think we know just where in the garden we'll put our hive when we set it up in April (after getting our packet of bees with queen!), and can't wait to get some hands-on experience.

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