Monday, December 28, 2020

COVID-19 has mixed impact on beekeeping

Corky Schnadt and bees

      But how has COVID affected beekeeping in Illinois?
     “It’s actually been a positive, oddly enough,” said Eugene Makovec, editor of the American Bee Journal, based in Hamilton, Illinois. “Everybody wants to buy honey. The honey I sell is from a dozen hives that typically produce 500 pounds of honey.
     “Last year I sold primarily around the holidays to three or four local stores. This year, the stores I sell to went crazy in honey sales, starting in April. It’s been difficult to keep up with them. I’m actually going to run out of honey.”
     His explanation: Honey is comfort food.
     It’s important for beekeepers to keep abreast of new developments in their field, and that, too, has benefited.
      “I find Zoom meetings very helpful” said Corky Schnadt, president of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association. “I just attended a symposium by the University of Nebraska. There were entomologists from all over the country. I thought, ‘There is no way I would have gotten all this information otherwise.’ I would never have gotten in the car and drove to Nebraska. Zoom meetings keep us connected with the latest data.”
     Not all is rosy in the apian world, however. Novice beekeepers, after sinking $500 or more into a hive, a colony of bees and protective gear, have concerns they like to share with experienced beekeepers.

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  1. That address, 56 Fifth Ave., is now Wells St.

  2. "Wee migratory sex workers." LOL! Bees tell us a lot about the health of our overall ecosystem. This was welcome good news to me. In the wild, they seem threatened of late. Also: "You notice flowers more, you notice water sources more, notice when a parking lot goes in where there used to be a clover field. A whole different natural world you don’t see normally, if you’re not into bees.” This is precisely the appeal for us Manholers (if I may): if you get into manholes (e.g. #ManholeCoverMonday, which is today), you learn about sanitation, communication, iron-working, local & regional politics, etc. It's a "window to new worlds."

  3. Thanks. Sometimes we need a reminder that we are not as detached from the natural world as we'd like to believe.

  4. During one of our stays in Chicago I went onto the roof of our hotel and found they had numerous bee hives up there. I can’t help but think there are more buildings serving as hosts as well.

  5. I build topbar hives as a service ( no charge) to bee keepers . The typical bee box is called a landstroff . They are the rectangular box commercial operations and most novices use.

    I've built boxes for several community gardens and even the garfield park conservatory.

    Come spring I'll be adding a box alongside the goats we keep at our new residence in pocket town on chicago's southside. Looking to maybe get some chickens as well.

  6. It's damn good to know that bees are flourishing and aren't threatened as "the media" has been saying for the past couple of decades.

  7. This is definitely the place to come for exotica!



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