The Bees and Me

Hello and welcome!

I’m Cheri, and I’ve got a little secret to share: just a few short years ago, I wasn’t especially fond of bees. Nor did I ever aspire to be a beekeeper. But sometimes life takes us down paths we never thought we’d follow. Here’s the story of me and the bees:

ACCIDENTAL BEEKEEPERS

Back in 2013 my husband, Watt, and I were living in Florida, participating in a local grower’s cooperative, and learning about permaculture, organic farming, and sustainable living. Watt was working as a maintenance manager for a multi-building condominium complex, and one day he sent me this odd but fateful text message:

Do you want to be a beekeeper?Say what?!

Turns out one of the buildings in the condo complex where he worked had a bee problem. More specifically, it had a honeybee problem. The apiarist (aka Jeffrey the Bee Guy) who assessed the situation asked my husband if we would be interested in taking the colony. Turns out honeybee colonies are protected in Florida, and the hive had to be relocated, not exterminated. Jeffrey needed to find the bees a new home, and fast!

Although we had no prior beekeeping experience or any beekeeping equipment, we did have a large yard and strong desire to help the bees and the environment. With Jeffrey’s assurance that he would show us the way, we decided to give it a go. With the purchase of a bee suit and a hive box full of transplanted honeybees, we suddenly became Backyard Beekeepers.

BONDING AND BUMBLING WITH THE BEES

The day Jeffrey delivered the buzzing hive box to our yard was momentous and life-changing. As newbie beekeepers, we were entranced. We began sitting near the hive box each evening just so we could watch the bees coming and going, doing their little bee thing. They were mesmerizing!

Along with the joy of beekeeping came plenty of trials and frustrations, of course. It definitely was not all honey and beeswax! Yet my husband and I have never regretted our decision to give it a go. Sadly, though, as we learned to become better keepers of bees, we also learned how critically threatened bees have become around the globe.

Unfortunately, in the years since we got our first hive, the plight of the planet’s pollinators has only become more dire.

In January 2018 my husband and I relocated to rural Tennessee where we now have enough land to expand our backyard beekeeping efforts. Soon we will personally be supporting more honeybees than ever before. Yet I still want to do more.

And that’s where this website comes in.

HERE’S THE BUZZ

I’ve founded totalbeekeeping.com to share my general love of bees and beekeeping as well as to provide easy-to-understand information and resources for anyone who wants to help support our vital but vulnerable bees. There is a critical, urgent need for all of us to support our threatened pollinators, but the good news is:

EVERYONE CAN HELP, AND NO EFFORT IS TOO SMALL!

To make a positive difference, you can simply avoid using chemicals and pesticides that are harmful to bees. You can grow bee-supporting flowers in containers or garden beds. You can provide “bee apartments” to create a bee-friendly habitat. And if you’re truly ambitious, you can give backyard beekeeping a try, just like we did. Which just might turn you into another avid lover of bees, like me.

If you have a question or a positive “helping the bees” story or suggestion to share, I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for visiting!

Cheri

totalbeekeeping.com

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