Things are certainly buzzing at the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program this week. We have been spending quite a bit of time focusing on our honey bees. We received some donations from local beekeepers and the Bluegrass Beekeepers Association. Really great folks! Clients and staff have been working together to get donated frames ready and boxes cleaned up for our new bees. Grow Appalachia has also been very supportive of our beekeeping ventures. Thanks so much!
We are hoping that some of our clients at shelter will take an interest in beekeeping and potentially establish some hives of their own. We feel like this is a good fit for some of our clients as a hobby or as a small business opportunity. Although, it can be intimidating, I honestly feel that working with bees can be a very soothing and grounding practice. The hive is a pretty powerful place to be and watching these ladies work can be humbling and empowering. The hive is run primarily by women and they are masters at self-sufficiency! We can all learn a lot from the honeybees!
We currently have one very strong hive at BDVP and are working up to 3 (possibly 4) hives this year. It seems as though our hive is getting ready to swarm and we have been trying to keep an eye out so we can catch the swarm to get another hive going. A swarm is a body of honeybees that moves out of the existing hive to begin a new colony with a new queen. I have never caught a swarm but, am pretty excited to give it a go! We have purchased a nuc, or a very small beehive (we should be getting it at the beginning of May), to establish our third hive for the year and if the swarm thing doesn’t work out we will probably need another nuc…
In these photos we are cleaning up the frames and putting in the wax foundation so the bees can begin to draw out comb and store honey. Pretty exciting!
Look at all of our big helpers! We had our own little colony of worker bees happening right here!
Take a look at our finished product….a honey super with new frames. Welcome, bees!
We’ll try to get some photos of our active bees in the hive posted soon…