It all started when...
My name is Beth Conrey and I am the owner of Bee Squared Apiaries, a small beekeeping operation located in Berthoud, CO. I have 125 hives in various locations in Weld, Larimer and Boulder counties.
I began beekeeping some 20 years ago after reading a series of newspaper columns on beekeeping by my friend, Tom Theobald. I have always been a bit “buggy”. I collected insects as a 4H project in both Maryland and New Mexico and my collection still hangs in my front hallway. Tom’s articles inspired me to take a beekeeping class and the rest, as they say, is history.
I started out innocently enough with just 2 hives and found myself fascinated. When you are out in a lawn chair watching bees enter and exit an active hive as sundown nears, you’re hooked! I am astounded by the differences in the pollens being collected by different hives and different bees within the hive at various times throughout the production season. Where do they find it? What is blooming that they have so much in their little pollen baskets that they can barely fly? How do they “spread the word”? The answers to these questions can be found through constant observation and reading. The more I observe and the more I read, the more interesting the insect becomes. The more intrigued I became, the more hives I acquired. Before long I had transferred my enthusiasm to my husband who now helps with swarm catching and hive removals and soon we had 60 hives instead of 2. It is no wonder that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, is the single most well studied beneficial species on the planet.
I remain captivated by the ability of this social insect to produce food for human consumption—the only insect to do so. A honey bee is estimated to produce a mere 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its brief life. Look at that again, that is not a half, it is a twelfth. To produce a single pound of honey, a hive has to pollinate two million flowers! TWO million flowers! Flabbergasting numbers, to say the least.
Yet produce excess honey they do and I have honey to share.