Monday, January 24, 2011

And so it begins

Hello and Welcome to 5th Street Apiary.  We are pleased you have found us and would like to introduce ourselves.  5th Street Apiary is Grant Clouser, Jess Miller, and our four honeybee colonies.  We started beekeeping in the spring of 2010 after attending a lecture by Tammy Horn at the University of Kentucky.   Jess and I had a shared interest in exploring beekeeping but had thought it would fit better in our later lives.  This lecture provided that last push of energy to move us from seriously thinking about beekeeping to actually doing it.  After reading and researching about keeping bees in the city, our minds were set, and we ordered our first hive.  We found ourselves in awe of these superorganisms and their amazingly complex social structure, much of which remains a mystery despite the thousands of years humans have interacted with honeybees.  The hobby quickly become a passion and we expanded to four hives.  But not without some challenges.  Chilled brood, pesticide kill, nosema, parasitic mite syndrome, varroa mites, deformed wing virus, small hive beetles, laying workers (and a bee sting allergy) were among the setbacks of our first year.  However, these are the obstacles that honeybees face.  Helping the bees overcome them was and is a strong motivation for us.  Once we tasted the bright, complex honey that our urban bees made this past season, we found our motivation further bolstered.  We have made plans to add more hives in the spring of 2011.  We're excited about the upcoming year: what the bees will teach us, how our and neighboring gardens will influence their honey, and what other bee products we will start developing.  We'll post our musings on keeping bees here.


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