I remember the day my friend, Ally, suggested we keep bees.
We were at a market and she pointed out a farm's table that was always sold out of honey. She said she thought we should keep bees and harvest our own honey.
I knew a friend of a friend with hives on the roof of his home and a former roommate's dad was a beekeeper, but I had never seen a live hive opened.
I knew almost nothing about bees and lived in a studio apartment in downtown Philadelphia, but there was something about the idea that I loved.
One book about bees turned into a stack of books about bees.
I was almost immediately fascinated by them and couldn't learn enough.
My first 2 years as a beekeeper did not go well.
I lost all three hives my first 2 years. I considered quitting.
While scouring the internet for a class, I found an internship at a bee farm and so I did what any 29-year old feeling burnt out from working long hours at a job she didn't enjoy would do - I moved across the country to be a beekeeper!
When the internship ended, I took a job with the country's largest organic honey company. I learned about organic beekeeping (Yes, it does exist!), how to move hives and how this farm cared for thousands of hives with a staff of 7.
I also started their beekeeping tours and taught people about bees.
After 5 years with this farm, I started my own apiary. I harvested comb honey and sold it to chefs and resorts under the label, Bee Happy.
My way of keeping bees isn't the only way to do things. It's just the easiest way that I've found to keep bees healthy & harvest a lot of delicious honey.
My philosophy is:
- keep things simple
- if a step doesn't help the process, don't do it
- do more with fewer gadgets
- keep an open mind because no two hives are alike
- don't try to fix every teeny problem
A few years ago, I started offering beekeeping classes at my farm.
My in-person classes always sold out and I loved holding them.
When I had my son last year, I had to temporarily stop giving classes. I wanted to refer people to an online option until I could start teaching again, but couldn't find any. Once I was back from maternity leave, I began working on an online beekeeping class.
I filmed our bees through the seasons to show the basic principles of how I care for the bees.
Now that the classes are online, I'm finally seeing what my in-person classes were missing.
It's nearly impossible to watch someone do something once, and remember it months later when you have to do it on your own.
In-person beekeeping classes are great for getting hands-on experience, but when you want to learn the real nuts and bolts of beekeeping, online video classes are the best solution.
They show you what to do AND you can refer back to them as many times as you need to.
Now that you know my story and how these classes came about...
Are you ready to get started?
Download our free getting started guide. It'll take you through the 7 steps to becoming a beekeeper.
If you have 30 minutes a week, you can learn how to keep bees by next Spring!Download Your Free Guide