Camaraderie and Education at Georgia BeeKeeper picnics

uncapping frames of honey

uncapping frames of honey

One of the neat things about the beekeeping in Georgia is the camaraderie. I was at the local Tractor Supply the other day asking about supplies for beekeeping and met a fellow beekeeper in the process. Awesome!
Both the Cherokee County Bee Club and Forysth BeeKeepers Club had picnics this summer where I had the opportunity to meet other beekeepers. Some of the beekeepers are “new-bees”, like me, others very much veterans. Hearing their stories and suggestions really gave me a lot to think about regarding my hives. Plus I learned about additional resources to be able to move forward and great advice on how to move forward without crushing my wallet in the process this first year of beekeeping.

The other key element of the picnics that I found invaluable were the training sessions and demonstrations. At the Forsyth and Cherokee picnics, I learned about checking for mites and how to treat for them.

honey extractor

honey extractor

The Cherokee picnic was just before I needed to do honey extraction from my hives, so seeing someone actually do the steps I would have to do was perfect for me. I’m more of a visual /take action person, rather than read about it. (I say that ironically, as I write this post.) Anyway, included here are some photos from Cherokee Bee Club’s picnic demos.

The other unique element that day that I appreciated was what to do with the extra wax from your hive? Apparently commercial bee keepers in Italy reuse their wax for their honey production and hives.

rolling melted wax onto frames

rolling melted wax onto frames

They don’t use it for other products like candles or cosmetics; they take the honey, melt it down and put additional layers of their own wax on their frames to help the bees to remember to build out more frames of wax and honey.

After the picnic, I rented the Cherokee Bee club’s extraction equipment for a nominal fee- totally worth it for my first extraction experience! More information to come on my honey extraction experience in a later post… How do you connect with other beekeepers in your area?

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