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The NJP Blogs

In this section, we present an ever-growing collection of brief articles, essays, poetry, news, recipes, and more—all contributed by our members.

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Mordechai Milotay


How to become self-sufficient while living in the city.

August 2012 Posts


Urban Homesteading
Blog Entry

Buzzed on Bees

Friday, August 10th 2012 @ 1:23 AM    post viewed 1376 times

I was torn between calling this post the Bees Knees or Buzzed on Bees. I decided on the latter, as I get a tangible lift in how I feel after working the hive. Three weeks ago the local bee master (what a great title) delivered a local swarm to our hive that has been sitting for the last several months in hopes of attracting a passing swarm.

I thought that I was ready for the bees as I had read all of the current recommended books on beekeeping, as well as all of the blogs that fit hashgafically with where I saw myself as a beekeeper. As the swarm was arriving late in the summer, I had to feed them daily to ensure that they would stay and to give them a wing up in prepping for the winter. I was a wreck every time I went into the hive. I was worried about hurting the bees, scaring them off, or doing something wrong. The more agitated I got, the more the bees did as well.

I sent the bee master a message asking him if he would come and do some hands on training with me. He came and worked in concert with me in the hive. I watched his calm determined approach and took the feeling deep inside. I became his beekeeping chossid. After that lesson things shifted. First of all I realized that beekeeping is not something you can learn by reading about it. The key is to work alongside someone who knows what they’re doing. After that I not only could work calmly in the hive, but I looked forward to it.

I also found myself feeling an incredible rush after communing with my bees each day. Like a fire fighter who runs into a burning building, I was doing something that ‘normal’ people don’t. I was actively engaging with creatures that a significant portion of the populace views as dangerous. I have to admit that this makes me feel good.

Now after a few weeks, I have developed a comfort and facility with the bees, and they in kind with me. Yesterday I removed the temporary follower board to give them more room to expand in the hive. I took it out covered in bees. I called my two older boys over to see the bees. Since I was calm, so were the boys and the bees. We were able to stand there while I showed them things about the bees, the propolis that they had covered parts of it with, and the bits of comb that were attached to it. It was an incredible event for me, and my boys were fascinated to see how the bees work together. For the first time in a very long time I have felt a resonance for something that I feel very passionate about. Beekeeping is going to be something I do IY’H for the rest of my life.




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