As a beekeeper, December is a slower time of year, which gives me an opportunity to reflect on my farming during 2014. Sometimes I think, “Gosh, I went crazy this year.” Then other times, I think, “That was a really fun time.” So in no particular order, here is my beekeeping year of 2014 in a short list.
- I began to think of beekeeping as farming. Honey is crop after all.
- I took a crazy amount of swarm calls.
- With the harsh late winter die-out, I bought three packages.
- I expanded my off-site operations from one to three properties. I also expanded from three to seven (now six) bee hives.
- I was able to get a very memorable colony from the old Younkers building.
- We had some crazy storm damaged bee trees.
- I became editor of the Central Iowa Beekeepers Association newsletter.
- I had observers with me for the first time — a friend from church helped me install packages, and Marji Guyler-Alaniz of FarmHer and Amy Mayer of Harvest Public Media spent an evening tending bees with me.
- Networking with non-bee farmers is fun! I attended the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network conference, learned heaps and met a ton of wonderful, like-minded people.
I pray that my hives survive the upcoming winter. We’ve had a few warm days to break up the cold this year, and I hope that pattern continues.