Become a Beekeeper in Florida!
Beekeeping (also known as apiculture) is the a la mode hobby for 2012; we hear about it in the news, we see how-to guides popping up in our shops and social media is abuzz with reports from the latest celebrities to join the trend, such as Joanna Lumley and Martha Stewart. However, this is not a modern fad; people have been beekeeping for centuries, including Aristotle and Alexander the Great. Furthermore, cultivating your own apiary is not just a status symbol for the green fingered – it could have colossal importance for the future of our planet.
This week Florida Holidays spoke to Donald Murray, President of Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida (BASF), to find out about beekeeping in Florida, why it is so important and how you can get involved in a honey-coated event on holiday.
The Bee’s Knees
Beekeeping is something that absolutely anyone can get involved with – at any stage of life. Donald Murray decided to get into beekeeping seriously after moving to Florida from New York City, having spent 35 years as a stockbroker. Now the President of BASF, Don is passionate about his bees and their critical importance to the food chain: “30%+ of the worlds food supply relies on bees to pollinate it. If there weren’t any bees, human food supplies would be in serious trouble”.
To Bee or not to Bee
So how do you become a beekeeper, and what does it involve? There are various ways to get started, as Donald explains: “You can become a beekeeper through trial and error, or by reading the many books available”. However the BASF has a beginner’s course available, why not try it on your next holiday to Florida?
This summer you could master the art of apiculture and learn skills such as how to maintain the health of your bee colony and to ensure the bees have the right conditions surrounding the hive. You will also get to wear the beekeepers distinctive outfit and taste some home-grown honey!
Founded 8 years ago by a handful of beekeeping enthusiasts, the Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida has now grown to become the largest apiculture organisation in Florida. BASF is a warm and friendly organisation with over 200 members who share a passion for beekeeping: “Our aim is to learn, share and compare modern and proven beekeeping techniques with each other – from novice to expert beekeepers”.
If you are in Florida this weekend (8th and 9th June) head to the hotly anticipated “Summer Swarm” event at Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, where you can see honey-tasting competitions and a range of arts and crafts on show. There will also be apiculture classes followed by a barbeque. Check the BASF website for more information and look out for the National Bee Awareness Day in August.
Do something different this summer – become a beekeeper!