Almost anyone who's had an ABE delivery has seen Jon on the premises. As the set-up and delivery coordinator for ABE, he is very involved in getting the MFPs, servers and various other equipment out to our clients. But after 5pm Jon swaps out his ABE shirt for ... a beekeepers suit! Jon has been beekeeping for 4 years, and has two hives.
Jon says keeping bees is actually not that time consuming. "It’s not really difficult, the bees have been doing it without our help for millions of years. We just help them along and protect them from pests. Fall and spring (going into and coming out of winter) take the most effort, and that’s a couple of hours every 2 weeks. Summer is just an occasional check to see how the girls are doing, about 2 hours a month. In the winter you pretty much leave them alone. If you get a nice warm 50+ degree day you can inspect the hive and make sure they have enough food. You can feed them sugar cakes to help them along if they need it."
Having said that, Jon said he likes to walk by the hives and say hello almost daily.
You need to leave enough for honey for the bees to eat all winter, so you don’t harvest a 1st year hive. We’ve had some setbacks so we’ve only had 1 harvest. The two hives yielded 27 pounds of honey.
Jon says that although he's been stung countless times, "Yes, it still hurts but I’m fortunate that I don’t have a bad reaction like some folks do." He adds, "You don't become a beekeeper for the honey or the money, but because you're captivated by these fascinating creatures!"