Let the Hives Thrive

Meet Maggie Watte, a beekeeper in Twin Falls, Idaho. She explains her transition from hobbyist to passionate honey bee advocate and elegantly describes her experience tending to her hives. 

 

I’m Maggie Watte, founder of MAW’s Honey Bees beginning in 2015 as a hobbyest, keeper of the bees in Twin Falls, Idaho. The love affair with these tiny precious creatures began with a gift of a hive from one of my sons in 2014. I currently manage 6 hives.

After taking local beekeeping classes, I became enamored with these fascinating insects. One could say, I’m an all out advocate and tremendous lover of all that’s honey bee. These beautiful creatures deserve our complete respect. Honey bees along with other pollinators provide us the ability to enjoy many of the foods we eat. Honey bee colonies are gentle, hard working, social insects. Within a colony, honey bees create a finely tuned community among themselves where each has an important role within their colony in order to survive. A single honey bee in its lifespan from egg, to larva then bee creates 1/12th of a teaspoon honey. It takes a lot of bees to produce one pound of honey. Honey bees must consume 17-20 pounds of honey to produce one pound of wax. We as humans can learn a lot from our honey bees. They live solely to protect and promote the survival of their colony, through pure work ethic.

The honey bees hum is truly the voice of the garden as quoted from Elizabeth Lawrence. Working the hives is much like being in a ballet. Your movements while inspecting hives must be smooth and graceful. It’s not unusual to find me working my hives with classical music playing in the background. The bees sense when you’re calm and react to your motions as you gently pull a frame from each box. There’s no greater wonder and joy to be able to witness the emergence of a brand new baby bee and watching the other bees hurriedly run around taking care of their future bees in the colony. I talk to my bees in a soft loving voice. They know what’s happening in my world. This hobby of beekeeping not only provides sweet delectable honey and honeycomb, it also allows for the creation of products such as, lip balm, body butter, salves, lotion bars, bees wax wraps and soap, a gift from my beloved bees. There’s no greater joy than sitting back and watching them flying back and forth bringing in their pollen a nectar to their hives. Listening to their soothing hum is hypnotizing. The delicate scent wafting from the hives of wax and honey is intoxicating. Theres a special peace that’s received from these incredible insects. They ask so little of us and provide so much.

Don’t be afraid or swat a honey bee. A honey bee doesn’t want to sting. They know that’s the end for them, if they do so. They only sting if they feel they’re in harms way. If a honey bee should choose to land on you, be grateful, enjoy, thank her and hold still. She’s merely stopping by for a rest and to say hello, then she’ll fly away home. Honey bees are on my mind day and night. Since the bees have come into my life, my entire life has been changed. My life is better for having them. My life revolves around their needs. It’s my hope to spread the importance of bees to us as a human race and just how special they are in our world. They make me feel bee-loved.

You can learn more about Maggie and Maw’s Honey by visiting her Facebook page.

Still honey hungry?

5 Facts About Bees
  1. The practice of beekeeping dates back at least 4,500 years
  2. Approximately one third of the food we eat is the result of honey bee pollination
  3. In their 6-8 week lifespan, a worker bee will fly the equivalent distance of 1 ½ times the circumference of the Earth.
  4. Honey bees are not born knowing how to make honey. Instead, they are taught in the hive by older bees.
  5. Due to colony collapse disorder, bees have been dying off at a rate of approximately 30% per year.

Find these facts and many more at https://www.beepods.com/101-fun-bee-facts-about-bees-and-beekeeping/

More Local Honey Bee Resources:

https://www.uidaho.edu/extension/pollinator

https://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/term/honeybees#stream/0

http://www.treasurevalleybeerescue.org/

 

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