My Family and the Bees
As far as we can tell my family has been keeping bees since the 1870’S. I am the 5th generation to keep honey bees for added income for our family’s. Back then there would not have been liquid honey in jars they made only what was called section honey or comb honey sections. The invention of the centrifugal extractor was started in the early 1800’s but never on the open market until 1921. To date we still enjoy the making of comb honey sections from our hives .
My dad and I started beekeeping in 1970 with 2 or 3 packages of bees we ordered through the US Postal service. It all started for me then when Dad and I had paid a visit to the old Finch family farm stead. We happened to wander through my Grandfathers old honey house and found a few of his old supers , bee hive boxes. My Dad asked me if we should take them home and try to raise some honeybees. This is the place where I remember my Grandfather’s Apiary of honey bees as a little boy growing up and still living on his farm with my Mom, Dad and little Sister. Somewhere probably between 30 to 50 colonies of bees he had there. I remember there where thousands of bee flights coming and going. To each hive as the sun light glittered off them as they streaked through the rays of sun, shinning through the huge locus trees. You could smell the locus blooms and the air was filled with there consistent buzzing and humming as they foraged for the sweet nectar, they used to make the sweet delicious honey from.
Maybe beekeeping was etched in my spirit at that point or maybe I had no choice with that many generations of beekeepers before me I was destined to keep honey bees. Which I still have a passion for all these 47 years later. That I have been enjoying the craft of, the keeping of bees and trying to be a good steward of my tiny spot on earth and the gift of honey bees that God has given us all to benefit from. I really do enjoy the craft of beekeeping and watching and learning nature through the gift of honey bees.
I worked for big industry for 38 years and in 2009 I decided that was enough, and started our family run bee business Berkshire Hills Honey Bee Farm with my wife and long time companion of 45 years a 9 year old chocolate lab dog the bee dog Buddy and a flock of chickens and guinea hens which supply us with wonderful brown eggs daily. Here in the rural rolling hills of central New York state in Gods country near the Finger Lakes region.