New Bee-ginnings

Last summer, I noticed that my purple coneflowers were being visited by some bees.  So, I decided to grab my camera and snap a couple of pictures of them taking nectar and pollen from the flower. I am always so fascinated by the insects and birds that visit my flowers.  I planted these around my back porch about 4 years ago after learning that they are great sun loving plants and the fact that they attract anything from butterflies, hummingbirds to goldfinches.  However, it never really occurred to me that I would be attracting bees.  I mean, who wants to attract bees?  Well, after briefly studying their behavior on my purple coneflowers. I thought, what would it be like to begin keeping bees?  At the time, I didn’t know anyone personally who kept bees.  The idea, however,  quickly faded as my mind began to wander and I thought about getting the images I just captured off my camera.  Weeks passed. I am at a local Farmer’s Market hosted by the neighborhood hardware store every Thursday evening.  It’s a really cool upbeat venue with a DJ playing House music.  You can buy anything from fresh organic fruits and vegetables to yogurt and even oven fresh homemade pizza.   This particular evening, I noticed a man selling honey.  I walked up to his booth and sampled some.  He had an array of five or six different kinds of honey ranging in color from light to dark brown.   He had Tupelo, Cotton, Watermelon, Wildflower and Blueberry honey.  I tried the Watermelon Honey.  I asked him about the different types and told him that the watermelon didn’t taste like watermelon.  He said that the honey wouldn’t taste of watermelon but that the bees or shall I say “Honey Bees” were kept on a watermelon farm and they got the nectar from the flowers of the watermelon.  I thought, how interesting– the honeybee actually knows what flowers to visit?  Now, my idea of keeping bees is back in the forefront of my mind.  I said to myself, “Yes!”  “My new hobby can be ‘beekeeping.'”   Not that I wanted another hobby or anything.  I went home with a small bottle of that local “Watermelon Honey” and the crazy idea of beekeeping.  Well…isn’t that life?  We dream! We can choose to keep our dreams dreams or bring them into fruition!  I am bringing this one into fruition.  Let’s see what happens!

15 Responses to “New Bee-ginnings”
  1. T.C. says:

    Great site. Very interesting. Didn’t know there were any African American beekeepers besides Queen Latifa, but of course she played a fictional movie beekeeper character; thus, you are the only one that I know about that is “for real.”

  2. D.A. says:

    Sup African American Bee Keeper.
    I think your blog is very interesting and wonderful idea to begin journaling/recording your thought processes and progression as you progress toward your passion project.
    Please keep us informed of your journey.

  3. Ty says:

    Beautiful picture! As we sit and view nature it makes us dream. Great idea as we all need more home grown products, can’t wait to purchase the first jar.

  4. B.S. says:

    Very interesting! I’ve tried the different kinds of honey from local keepers and always wanted to know about the names. Let everyone know about your progression with the Bee Keeping.

    P.S. ….. Make sure you have a lot of antihistamine…LoL

  5. I.D. says:

    Very Interesting!!!!!!! What a relief our first African American beekeepers. LOL!!!!!!!!!

  6. S Young says:

    Enjoyed your first blog entry. Look forward to reading and sharing your journey to bee keeper. Congratulations!!!

  7. Keelan says:

    When I read cotton I thought, “Now what kind of flavor is that?” It didn’t occur to me that cotton referred to the plant or flower type the bee gathered that particular nectar/honey from. What flower will you expose to your bees? Nice blog!!

    • Thanks! My honey bees will be in the back lot next to my home. They will be exposed to my garden and flowers to include all of my neighbors plants. The honey bees send out their scouts and they forage for nectar, pollen and a water source up to a 3 mile radius. The scouts come back to the hive and do a dance for the bees. This dance tells the other honey bees where to go and collect the goods! Anyway, since my honey bees will not have a main plant source– my honey will be considered “Wild Flower” honey.

  8. wannabeaBeekeeper says:

    Hi I’m in Kansas and I’m an African American male How would i get started I kinda wonder if I’ll be the first african american here to bee keep probably not….LOL help is appreciated in getting started thanks

    • Hello jtinnon, I will tell you that when I searched the internet for other AA beekeepers, my search kept bringing me to Africanized bees. No matter what key words I put in google– I would get information on “Africanized bees.” I know that there had to be AA beekeepers in the US so I did not understand why I could not find one person on the internet at the time so I decided to create the website “African American Beekeeper” in hopes to meet and inspire others.
      Beekeeping is a very fun and interesting hobby for me. I collected some of the best honey I have ever tasted this past summer. Everyone that got a bottle from me gave it rave reviews. In getting started, the first thing I would do is find your local beekeeping association and attend the meetings. They are free until you decide to join and they can provide you with a wealth of information and support in getting started. The next thing is to take a beekeepers course usually offered by your local beekeeper association. Beekeeping has its ups and downs. I currently have two hives that are doing okay– my bees seem to be handling the on and off cold weather here in Atlanta. I lost my third hive about 3 months ago. They came under attack by the pesky small hive beetles. SHBs can take over a hive in no time if the hive is weak messing it up and causing the bees to abandon the hive.

      • jay says:

        hi Just saw your post after posting another message lol thank you for you info i will do this thanks

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