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Virginia's NewBee Blog: Meet Virginia

Hi there! I'm very excited to embark on this new and exciting experience and have you along for the ride!

A little bit about me ...

I live on the family farm my husband grew up on in Poland (just south of Youngstown) with my husband, Ricky, and handsome four-legged fur son, Louie.

I work in marketing during the week and spend my weekends and evenings assisting with the farm - helping with planting, assisting in the market, and managing our marketing activities.

Bee Pollinating Peach Blossoms

...and why bees?

We farm around 80 acres of produce. Local beekeepers have kept hives on our main farm to help aid in pollination.

Last year, our beekeeper decided to end his beekeeping career. I briefly thought 'maybe I should give that a go.' We had another beekeeper come in, but the thought stuck in the back of my mind.

As we work to establish a sustainable crop rotation, we're moving more of our produce crops into another property the farm owns. Crop rotation helps the plants produce a more fruitful or better quality harvest, as different crops use different nutrients, and replace different nutrients back into the soil. It can also help us better manage disease problems that may occur over time when land is planted with the same crops year after year.

Moving our crops to this other piece of land about five miles away meant that the bee colonies we have placed on our primary farm will not help pollinate these crops.

And thus, one evening late March, my husband casually suggested that I should take up beekeeping. And that little buzz that was in the back of my mind became reality. We did a little research and dove in. (Although I'm also partly convinced that he's encouraging the adoption of 10,000 buzzing bees so I can't ask for a second fuzzy baby!)

We quickly found a site and ordered bees, and I picked up our first hive. That same week, I did some research and stumbled across Stark County Beekeepers Association with a convenient evening meeting the following Tuesday.

We've decided to begin with two 10-frame langstroth hives. Our packages will arrive about a month apart. I'll pick up our first package on Saturday!

And so the journey BEEgins...

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