Rather than focus on honey production we have concentrated upon the educational aspects of honey bees and beekeeping. We produce only about a thousand pounds of honey per year which is easily sold to family and friends and is consumed by our own family.
We have enjoyed giving honey bee educational seminars at various places including: public libraries throughout the state of Michigan (we are based near Grand Rapids), Tulip Time (an international festival in Holland, MI), various schools, nature centers, local retirement communities, the Christian School Teacher’s Convention in South Bend, IN, a Performer’s Showcase for three hundred youth librarians in Lansing, MI, etc.
I find great satisfaction in teaching beekeeping to people who have never opened a colony of honey bees. The beginners class explains the parts of a bee hive, what to purchase and how much it all costs (the first year or two of beekeeping can be a little expensive). We teach how to manage a colony of bees through its first year and we give everyone a little bit of “hive time” watching me do an actual colony inspection (in the spring). A continuing education class is also available for those entering their second year of beekeeping since a second year colony behaves so much differently than a first year colony.
As the father of two sons, I see the value of working together as a family and it has been a pleasure to have a “project” we can all do together. I may be the “up front” speaker at our classes and seminars but without the help and support of my wife and kids our presentations would probably be more work than fun.
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