The Buzz about Beekeeping

World Bee Day is celebrated on May 20 to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face, and their contribution to sustainable development. According to the United Nations, nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend entirely or in part on animal pollination, along with more than 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land. Since attention to the importance of bees has grown, beekeeping has grown in popularity. Get the buzz on all things beekeeping in this interview with Amy, a beekeeper who is a member of AOP’s marketing department.

Tell us a little about your beekeeping adventure.
I started beekeeping in 2017 with my family, my two sisters and their families, and our parents. At the time, we knew nothing and are still learning every day. We currently have 12 hives with honeybees and around 10,000 bees per hive.

What is a typical day like as a beekeeper? Does it change seasonally?
I like to check the hives daily for activity (bees going in and out). At least once a month, we open the hives up and check inside to make sure there is a laying queen, all the bees are healthy, they have room to work, and if they have started making honey. Each month is always different and a lot of it is based on weather.

Are your hives located near each other?
I live in a small town and have one in my garden. My parents live on a farm near me, and they have 8 hives at their place outside their house. The other 3 hives are located at a family friend’s house in a neighboring town.

Do you wear protective covering whenever you’re around your hives?
When I first started, I was covered head to toe with anything and everything to keep from getting stung. I was scared. I have learned a lot over the years, and I’m more relaxed around them. When we open the hives, I still put on long sleeves or my bee jacket, along with gloves and a vail. When I am in my garden with the hive or just watching them, I don’t put on any gear, and I go on as normal.