You all know how much I love, LOVE honey! Yeah, not much of a secret there. I don’t know if I love eating it or putting it on my face more, but that’s beside the point. While others might freak at a close encounter with a honey bee, me, I see it as an opportunity to say, “Thank you!” And I do, believe me.
Years ago, I thought all honey was pretty much the same. Boy was I wrong. Come to find out, not only is most commercial honey heated (killing it’s beneficial enzymes my face so very much loves) and highly filtered (removing the pollen and all its benefits), it can even be cut with high fructose corn syrup. Nasty! While this commercial product might look like honey, it’s far from.
I Love Honey
As I explained in my honey guide, figuring out how to get truly raw honey was one of the most confusing experiences of my life. I fear many, if not most, people are unknowingly getting a “raw deal” instead of RAW HONEY. I have always suggested you find local beekeepers, discuss with them how they process their honey, and source your raw honey this way. This is NEARLY the best way. But if you want to be 100% sure you are getting the highest quality, nutrient and enzyme packed, antibacterial, face healin’, taste bud lovin’ honey you can get, you need to… BECOME the BEEKEEPER!
That’s right folks. If you want the bestest honey that has ever touched your taste buds (or been smothered on your face)…
Become a Beekeeper!
Yes, I said become a beekeeper. You might have just laughed and thought, “Me? Never!” Or maybe you have secretly thought about becoming a beekeeper for years. Either way I have got good news for you, you can do it!
If you were with me on the honey challenge, how much different is the “become a beekeeper challenge?” Ok… a lot! But beekeeping has never been more accessible to the average person. Sorry, didn’t mean to call you average…but…you know what I mean.
Beekeeping does mean getting over a fear of bees, if that’s you, but trust me when I tell you many beekeepers had the same fear when they became beekeepers. Beekeeping also takes a time commitment. Plan on about 30-45 minutes each week per hive. There are also start up costs, about $400-800, but there are ways to save on these costs as well. While this is a big investment, think of it as placing a pre-order for your first 30 pounds of raw honey. Yum!
Time and money, however, are not the key to success in beekeeping. The key is LEARNING. There is a lot one could learn about honey bees and beekeeping (as in one could spend a life time). This can make the whole process overwhelming, but I’ve got you covered. I have found a fabulous online course that walks you through how to become a beekeeper. It teaches beekeeping in an easy to follow way. The course is called, Introduction to Beekeeping: 10 Step Guide to Becoming a Beekeeper, put out by NewBee University.
Why a Beekeeping Course?
One thing I love about this online course is the personal touch. When is the last time you took an online course and received a welcome packet in the mail? That’s right, sign up for this course and you get mail. I LOVE mail. While N.B.U. isn’t an accredited higher learning institution, you’ll feel like you just enrolled in a degree program… without those dreaded student loans we all regret.
Your welcome packet from NewBee University will include a lovely NewBee pen and a beekeeping workbook. The workbook follows the course chapter by chapter with detailed pictures, diagrams, and beekeeping info plus room for you to jot notes. The course even has a classroom chat if you have a question or need a little extra guidance from the prof. And you know me, I’m full of questions.
The course lessons themselves are fabulous. You can complete them at your own pace, be it a snail or binge, it’s your call. It’s nearly all videos full of pictures, video clips, and in the bee yard video lessons. About as close as you can get to hands on without actually being there… and still able to be curled up in sweats on the couch. Just saying.
NewBee University also includes “Extended Learning” videos for the nerds among us that choose to go into the nitty gritty details, such as the fascinating study of how honey bee swarms choose a new home and the science behind this discovery and…ok, you get the point.
When you complete the course, not only will you feel ready to get started with your first hive, you will get more mail…did I mention I LOVE mail? Yes, after you complete the course they are not done with you. They will send you a completion packet. In it you will get an engraved hive tool which is a “must have” beekeeping tool. You will also receive an official (and snazzy looking) course completion certificate with your name and completion date on it. How cool is that?
Now as you would expect, all this fun mail and course instruction isn’t free. However, think of it as an investment in your bees’ health and happiness. NewBee University points out that many new beekeepers, without proper instruction, lose their bees in the first year to avoidable mistakes. This course will save you the cost of replacing those bees and the frustration and sadness that comes from not knowing what to do and who to turn to for guidance (plus, healthy bees make more honey). Trust me, this is a worthwhile investment.
You know what they say, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. Well, maybe, just maybe, if you want the most tantalizing to your tongue and beautifying to your face honey in the world, you might have to become a beekeeper. While this might seem like a far out there idea, beekeeping is more popular and accessible (even for city folk) than ever before. With the education provided by NewBee University, I am confident that if you want to become a beekeeper, you can do it!