My start into beekeeping

One of my earliest memories is spending time with my brothers hunting bees. Summers in east Texas were hot and we usually dressed in just shorts. But when on a "hunt", we put on "Keds" canvas shoes. These offered protection and doubled as weapons to stomp our prey as they gathered nectar on white clover.

Through the eyes of a suburban child, stinging insects were the enemy and we felt duty bound to make a difference. Our safaris likely had little impact on the general bee population despite our earnest efforts. I take some comfort in that.

But what we so ardently tried to accomplish fifty years ago appears to have come to pass. In 2008 I first began to notice that I didn't see honey bees in my garden, on my fruit trees or anywhere on my land. I made a mental note to keep an eye out for them. Over the next three years I did not see a single honey bee.

It could be said that I have now come full circle, for now my goal is to impact the honey bee population in a different direction than what my brothers and I attempted as children. What I once considered an enemy is now an ally. I became a beekeeper.