In this blog I will be documenting my experiences with, and practical discoveries about, the keeping of bees. As I glean through the rich history of the human/bee relationship, I will also post things about the culture of beekeeping (art, politics, philosophy, science, and whatever else) of this endless fascinating topic.
Some years ago, after a lifetime of being vaguely disquieted and unnerved about bees, I was invited to view some hives kept by a family friend in Massachusetts. We observed the bees entering and exiting two hives as other bees guarded the hives from intruders. It was a remarkable calming experience. Then I saw frames covered in bees, the very things that had frightened me, and I was not at all frightened. Since that day, I had an idea in the back of my mind that I’d like to learn more. There are many, many things to read about honey bees, for the relationship between humans and bees goes back to the beginnings of our species (bees go back even further), but there is no substitution for the hands-on. Yet I live in Brooklyn. How was I going to get involved in beekeeping? Where there even bees in Brooklyn? In fact, of course, the city is rich with life, and as my experiences birdwatching in the city tell, it’s all a question of looking. Take the time to look closely, to look patiently, and the world begins to bloom all around you.
So one day I was glancing over Meetup.com, the social networking affinity site, and discovered the Brooklyn Beekeepers Meetup (now the NYC Beekeeping Meetup). Ah, so perhaps it was possible to keep bees in the city. Since then I’ve learned much from the meetup’s organizer, John Howe, many other members of that group, and beekeepers Norm and Andrew Cote. One of the main things I’ve learned is that there is much yet to learn.
I hope you'll be coming along for the ride.
Note: For the first time ever I have “monetized” my on-line presence. (An ugly word for an ugly task.) It goes against my nature to do so, but unfortunately I am not made of money, nor am I a trust-fund beneficiary nor a lottery winner, and beekeeping is not without its expenses. So Google ads will appear in the right hand corner and any pennies thus earned will go towards the bees. Click or not as you wish.
The logo of Sweet Melissa Patisserie, still on their former bakery in Gowanus the last time I looked.