We just finished Bee School , an annual intensive sponsored by our local bee club. It was a veritable jamboree of all things apian.
This Spring we'll set up our first hives, facing southeast toward a beautiful red maple tree a short distance from our kitchen garden. We won't be using any chemicals in the hives, and after the first year we plan to feed the bees only with their own honey (rather than the white sugar or corn syrup that are often used).
Rather than attempt to summarize the many hours of bee-knowledge that we took in, here are some great links for bee information and inspiration:
Every Third Bite: A really wonderful 9-minute documentary about bees, food, and life. I love this little film for a bunch of reasons, but one thing that's great about it is that it showcases not just country bees, but urban and suburban beekeeping operations-- including the Chicago Honey Co-op and a New York City beekeeper who has hives on rooftops all over Manhattan.
WNC Bees dot org: The fabulous Buncombe County Bee Club's excellent portal to a wealth of bee-knowledge.
Wild Mountain Apiaries: We are buying "nucs" this Spring from this local supplier. "Nuc" is short for "nuclear colony" -- a small honeybee colony created from a larger colony, and the easiest way to get started in beekeeping.
The Honeybee Project: A locally-based initiative to raise awareness about the importance of honeybees.
Bee Guardian: Committed to working to help honeybees survive and thrive.