| Paul Gillis |
Although winter has returned to New Gloucester, some of us beekeepers are already looking toward Spring. The honey bees are snug inside their hives in a tight cluster consuming their honey while we beekeepers use the winter to make plans for the coming season. Winter is a good time to catch up on our reading, assemble new equipment and order bees, which will arrive in April to June.
In addition to helping improve gardens, flowers and crops through better pollination, beekeeping provides the opportunity to be outdoors, learn new things about this great natural world, work independently, and of course, enjoy local honey. The beeswax can be used for candles, cosmetics and wood polish.
Beekeeping classes are a great way for new beekeepers and those interested in these fascinating insects to learn the basics and to refresh our skills. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has a 5-week Beginner Beekeeping-Online and a 4-week Intermediate course which can be found at https://extension.umaine.edu/register/product/beginner-beekeeping-webinar-series-2021-online-2/ The Honey Exchange has Zoom classes for both beginners and sophomores who have more experience and want to move toward a sustainable apiary. Information is available at https://thehoneyexchange.com/pages/classes-and-events.
Many of these classes begin in January and early February. There are currently 15+ New Gloucester beekeepers with a total of over 60 hives. Please consider joining us.