Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Breeder,
Bred invertebrate myself

Gender: N/A





Easy to handle




Easy to keep






Italian and Russian Honey Bees


United States

Posted Jul 13, 2015

A few years ago, my Dad became a hobby beekeeper. At first, I hated the idea. I was extremely afraid of bees and any flying insect, for that matter. But over time, I got used to the idea and, now, I love the honey that they produce and will even enter the hive to do inspections with him. We began with one nucleus hive, which comes with workers and a queen. From there, the hive grows on its own until it is fully sustainable. Today, we have three hives and will split one to create a fourth. Each has about 5,000 bees inside and only one queen. We just harvested honey from one of the hives last week and gathered about 60 pounds of raw honey, which never goes bad. In past years, we have harvested from up to three of our hives, but because of a harsh winter and suspected mites, the other hives did not have enough honey to harvest. That being said, it is great getting the honey, but keeping up hives take constant inspection, attention, and caution. They are very docile and fly in very direct paths from our fish pond, their main water source, back to the hive, but the appropriate garments and caution is still necessary when entering the hive. We bought a special non-hazardous spray to protect against Varroa mites, which can kill an entire hive, but the spray is not guaranteed to work. To prepare them for the lack of pollen in the winter, we give them a pollen patty so they can make it through the cold season. Keeping bees requires knowledge, equipment, patience, a decent financial investment and willingness to fail. However, the payoff is endless honey and the chance to see the extremely intricate workings of a beehive up close.

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