We gathered outside the big white barn at the Dahlem Ecology Farm, August 11, 2010 for our first beekeeping class. Fourteen of us were there from various backgrounds–members from the Dahlem Community Gardens and Dahlem Nature Center and others from the community who were curious about backyard beekeeping.
Originally we were going to meet every other Wednesday until October when we would winterize the two hives on the Dahlem property and then meet up again in March to assemble hives for our own bees. What actually happened was a continuation throughout the winter of informal learning about bees and all related topics. We got to know each other, sharing food as we met for an apitherapy class. We enjoyed each others’ company as we each built our top-bar hives over several work “bees”.
Most importantly we got to know a very special couple who love the Earth and want to live with it instead of on it. Jessica and Keith Steller share their knowledge of bees and encourage anyone who wants to try their hand at bee husbandry. Now, after meeting with them, we all want to foster an animal essential to pollination and help bees thrive. It is a fascinating hobby that has the benefits of increasing the population of a useful insect and some very tasty by-products!
Without my Dahlem class, I would not have had the opportunity to join such a great group! The new class has gathered and it includes Ann Arbor people who can’t find anything in their area and the director of Albion College nature center who wants to learn about bee-watching and conservation. I have installed my bees in my hive and am ready for the next level of learning. Anyone interested in learning about bees in nature and this fascinating hobby, join us every other Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Dahlem Ecology Farm. Drop in or come to every meeting.
Respectfully submitted by Beckie Shotwell