Beekeeping course.

I’m no good a surprises.   Actually I’m not good at surprises if I know there’s a surprise coming.  “Clare, I’ve got you the best birthday present”, “we’re going out tomorrow”, or “I’ve got a surprise for you”, do not excite me.  They, in fact terrify me.  It may sound silly, but as a planner, I like to know how I’m expected to react, I’d hate to disappoint someone if I didn’t show enough enthusiasm.

So now that J has figured it out, he knows he can either choose not to tell me (this way I don’t have to prepare a reaction), or he can say, “I’ve got a surprise for you, it’s ______”.

For our anniversary he found the perfect gift for me, something I’d been looking into but hadn’t found the perfect option.  A beekeeping course. His approach was, “I’ve found you the best gift for our anniversary, I haven’t booked it yet, do you want me to tell you what it is?”

Absolutely I did!

And was I ever so excited to find out that it was a beekeeping course.  It was something that I’d talked about having in our backyard. Just another step towards being more self-sufficient.

The course was held in the neighbourhood center in Geelong West, and for only $70, a bargain! Over 4 sessions we learnt about extracting honey, collecting hives, the make up of a swarm, building bee boxes and frames and so much more.

super and extractor de-capped frame straining honey dripping honey bee hive bees gorging building on wax ideal super wiring frameEach day was a wonderful learning experience.  Did you know that the first thing that bees do when they hatch is clean out their hexagonal cell?  If they find something in their hive that shouldn’t belong, they flick it out the front door of the bee boxes?  And a hive is kept at a constant temperature of 38 degrees Celsius?  Rather than talking about an individual bee, people often refer to the hive as the organism, as one bee could not survive without the rest of the colony.  They are the perfect example of a cohesive community, something that we humans could learn a bit about.

Throughout the course I experienced two stings, they happened in the last session, within minutes of each other, and initially I showed no reaction. One sting was on my upper leg and the other on my forehead.  The next day my forehead swelled, then my eyes,  and now, three days later, my cheeks are showing only a slight swelling.  I visited the doctor and was told that although it was a fairly sever reaction, this may have been to do with the fact that I had two stings at the same time, I am still safe to keep bees.  Although I definitely need to be more careful.  I’m now looking into all the protective gear I need to keep myself sting free in the future.

Have you ever kept bees?  Ever seen a hive in action?

17 thoughts on “Beekeeping course.

  1. It seems the course has been invaluable but I wish there was a way of keeping bees without getting stung. Those stings are really painful. And you got stung on your forehead? What a place for a sting xx

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  2. I think I’d be too scared (wimpy) to keep bees. I’m always paranoid I have allergies, though any reaction I’ve ever had is minor. Unless I’m cleaning. I can’t clean. Dust can make me sneeze continuously for a long time!

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  3. What a great present. When we went to Beechworth we went to the Beechworth honey museum and it was great – obviously set up to sell Beechworth honey but you could taste about 20 different honeys and see the bees doing their thing as well as films etc about the bees. It was my kids favourite thing they did on holidays. Ever since I’ve been thinking about bees but I think I’ll get used to having chooks before moving on to more livestock…

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    1. I love Beechworth honey, we used to live just near there! I can’t wait to have bees in our backyard! They’re going to live with the chickens. They’re such amazing little creatures!

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  4. Wow that is so amazing 🙂 I’ve never heard of a beekeeping course but it fascinates me how honey is produced by little bees! Oh gosh…it doesn’t sound good that you were stung twice >_<

    It's definitely very interesting but you've gotta take good care of yourself!

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  5. This is so cool! I would love to do a beekeeping course, I didn’t even know it existed! Definitely a very original gift! Thanks for sharing about your experience.

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    1. I searched and searched for a course, I kept finding really expensive ones in Melbourne, but then J found this one in Geelong. I learnt so much!

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  6. What a wonderful present! Bees fascinate me — mainly as they never visit my balcony garden and I want to know WHY as I really need them to stop by and visit my zucchini’s.

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    1. It was such a wonderful gift! I wanted to get some in our backyard, mainly for the pollination, and because they are dying out all over the world!

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  7. Thanks for putting these together Clare. especially the photos. I’m doing a few courses as well in the new year and have been setting it up the pages on my site to promote it. I have been doing them for a while but never thought about promoting much of it through my website till now. I’m going to try and get some photos of the workshops up as well!

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