As a kid, I was deathly allergic to bees, anytime I got stung it was an immediate trip to the doctor to get treated. I was always fascinated by bees and my interest only peaked as a teenager when I got a chance to be around them through a beekeeper who went to our church. I was no longer allergic to bee strings and had learned enough to know they were one of God’s most amazing gifts to mankind. I can say I was really mesmerized by the complexity and beauty of honey bees.
I finally found my opportunity after 25 years to take a stab at being a beekeeper when Natalie decided we should start the homestead project with a garden. A garden’s best friend is pollinators, obviously, my favorite pollinator is the honeybee and with Natalie’s blessing, I began my research.
For north American beekeepers, there really are only three breeds of honey bees to choose from, Russian, Italian, and Carniolan. I opted for Italian bees because based on my research they were docile and overwintered well. Having two young kids made being more docile the single most important factor for which type we should keep. I’ll be keeping the hives behind a fence so I’m not terribly worried about the kids getting mixed up with a swarm of angry bees but I’m also not interested and pushing my luck. And as luck would have it, Walter T. Kelly, one of the nation’s most respected beekeeping supplier companies is right here in good ‘ol Kentucky, albeit two hours away from the house.
I ordered two packages of Italian bees and I’m set to pick them up on April 23rd. I really can’t wait for that ride home!