This is a photo from the Ruhl Bees site. That's the company from which we are getting our bees!
Beekeeping was one of those things that we felt was a good idea as we move towards self-sustainability. Not only are are bees a great way to provide a ready made healthy home sweetener, but they are essential for garden and orchard pollinization. We have so many blooming fruit trees that we felt it was a good idea to supplement the native Mason/Orchard bees with honey bees.
This one is Rick's baby. While I don't have issues with bees (I'm afraid of wasps and hornets), I also haven't had time to research them like he has. He made the variety choice, ordred all the equipment, and is on his way to pick them up this afternoon. We ordered our bees from Ruhl Bee Supply which is not only a 111 year old company - but local to us here in Oregon. http://www.ruhlbeesupply.com/
My only experience with bees in any quanity was when I was a kid. We lived in Topsfield, MA in a 100+ year old home. The front of the house was flanked with two huge hives built within the walls of the house. Random bee stings were a fact of life. I have two distinct memories of that time related to the bees. One was of my little brother waking up at night after it had been raining like mad crying because his bed was wet. My mother told him to 'move to a dry spot' thinking that he'd been the one to wet it. What a surprise to discover the next morning that his whole bed was pretty much wet with water and diluted honey! The rain was leaking through the walls and it ran right down his window shade and into his bed. Poor kid! My other memory involved the third floor. This house had a ton of rooms, most of which were not used by our little family of 4. There was an entire third floor of bedrooms (and presumably a bathroom, but I don't remember) that we pretty much kept closed off. I had a big doll house that I used to play with that was housed up there at one point. Anyway, I don't know why I was up there, but I remember standing in the doorway to one of the bedrooms staring in awe at the hundreds (or more likely thousands) of dead or dying bees lying everywere. It was like something that nightmares are made of!
Anyway, we hope that our bees will give us happy memories in the years to come. Once Rick gets the hive set up, I'll make sure to take some photos to share.