Bees in the Homestead
*Table of Contents for Bees Section is at bottom of this page.*
Keeping bees can be yet another multifunctional project on the homestead. These amazing creatures—“golden angels,” someone has called them—produce not only honey for the keeper, but other useful products such as beeswax, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly. And they provide enhanced pollination for all the flowering crops and other plants on the homestead.
Keeping bees is something I never got around to. Last spring, however, a good friend who is a beekeeper of long experience, Mike Rininger, was in the neighborhood to remove a colony from an uninhabited building. I offered our property as the place to “park” the rescued colony. Mike ended by placing not one but two new hives on an edge of our property, under the big white oak that I think of as one of the guardians of our homestead.
Mike has agreed to write an introduction for anyone considering making bees part of their homestead endeavors.