SkinDeep Naturals

hand-made - self care - conscious living

A beekeeping story

BeekeepingJessica AndersonComment

I took up beekeeping in the spring of 2014, inspired by a friend in Atlanta who is a Georgia Master Naturalist and backyard beekeeper. I enrolled in a beekeeping class here in Colorado in January of 2014. My intrigue soon became obsession as we spent 3 weekends learning all about these little creatures. I couldn’t wait until spring when I would purchase a bee package from the local bee keeping association and start caring for my own backyard hive.

During my first season of beekeeping, I reached out to my local beekeeping community a lot for mentoring and advice. There’s a saying in the beekeeping community, that if you ask 5 beekeepers the same question you will get 10 different answers. I quickly learned this was true. Everyone had a different way of doing things and I needed to figure out what felt right for me. My head was spinning and I doubted that I knew what I was doing and feared that I would let my hive down by being a bad keeper.

Towards the end of that first season, I met my current mentor Kristina Williams of Beehave in Boulder. Kristina quickly became my one and only mentor. I call her the bee whisperer. She’s that amazing and knows absolutely everything about honey bees, and a whole lot about a lot of other stuff too.

I’d like to share what I’ve learned about beekeeping over the past few years because I understand how overwhelming it can be, especially for the first couple of seasons. Or when you lose a hive and just want to give up (don’t!). Most of what I have learned came from Kristina, The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diana Sammataro, and Beekeeping for Dummies.

Spring of 2017 will mark my 4th season of beekeeping. And the remarkable thing is (knock on wood), I still have my original hive, and the failure rate for a honey bee hive is about 45% each year. This past season I was able to incorporate beeswax and propolis from my hive into my skin care products, which is incredibly exciting for me.  

I hope what I have to say in the beekeeping section of the blog will be helpful. (See the "Featured Content" link on my site for a list of all beekeeping related posts.) Please always feel free to contact me with any questions.  Also, keep in mind that I am a Colorado bee keeper. Beekeeping is VERY region-specific. The advice that I give here may not bee entirely relevant if you are a beekeeper in another region.