Why do you keep bees? How did it start?
I started as a beekeeper to do something else than I usually do. My other hobbies are mostly computer-based, but this is something completely different. I think bees are interesting and especially the way their communities work. So one Wednesday night I thought “I wonder if there’s a course in beekeeping somewhere soon?” and there was, only one month later. I convinced my older brother to join me and then we just did it.
So, I didn’t have any prior relations to beekeeping, but now it’s something I share with my brother.
How long have you been keeping bees?
This year is my second season. I joined the course in February 2018 and started my first beekeeping season just after that. The months where the bees are active is called a season. During winter they hibernate.
The season begins April/May depending on the temperature. If it’s too cold the bees can’t survive when they fly out. They usually fly out when the temperature reaches 12 degrees, and that’s when the season begins. The season ends in October/November.
Throughout the season we must check on the bees at least once a week.
What does it take to become a beekeeper?
I actually thought it would be easier that it is. You have check on them at least once a week throughout the season. Even though it only takes one hour, it still needs to be done. It takes a lot of planning and worrying. I worry about whether we’re doing it right, do they have enough food, will they start swarming or will they die. There is a mite, that kills honey bees. You need to be constantly aware about it and shield the bees from it. That mite is the reason why there are no wild honey bees.
In addition to this, is also takes a lot of money to buy the bees and the equipment in the first place. The most expensive honey I eat is my own, but it’s also the best!
I keep my bees in Mollerup Forrest in Aarhus N. I went to the first farm I could find near my apartment and asked them if I could keep my bees there, and they said yes! Such nice people! It turns out, that they had a beekeeper before, but he had just recently stopped, and some of his things were still there. It was almost too lucky!
What is the best thing about keeping bees?
To make and produce something of your own. It is enjoyable and just learn something new and completely different.
We extract honey two times a year, once in June and once in August. We produced 102 glasses of honey last year, approximately 46 kg all in all. Once the honey is extracted you need to stir it every day until it reaches the right texture.
Anything else you would like to add?
I think everyone should try beekeeping! There is a lack of bees in the world and it’s a lot of fun!