Georgetown youngster learns about beekeeping
It’s not unusual to see eleven-year-old Kate Jenkins cradling a chicken or carrying around one of the dogs, ducks, goats, peacocks, or other “babies” at the Jenkins home. “Kate is very comfortable with and interested in nature,” says mom Sarah, so it came as no surprise when Kate asked her dad, Chris, if she could get involved in his beekeeping hobby.
The two set out for Chandler and Son’s Honey in North Carolina last April to get a firsthand glimpse of beekeeping from Chris’s childhood friend and bee expert, Rand Chandler, who taught them about bees, beekeeping techniques, and safety.
Kate and Chris wore protective suits to help capture a swarm from a tree and transfer it to a bee box. The bees soon settled in and established the pecking order among the queen, the workers, and the drones.
“The queen bee is cool because she’s the leader of the whole hive,” Kate explains. “She lays hundreds of eggs every day and the whole hive follows her. She’s bigger than the worker bees. The drones are like robots at the post office. They have a package to deliver, and that’s what they do. The worker bees do everything else. They keep the hive clean, get nectar, make honey, and protect the hive. Did you know that if a drone marries a queen, he’ll die?”
Kate and her dad were so fascinated by their experience that 50,000 bees are now at home in the Jenkins’ backyard. Sarah says that now “the idea of keeping bees for honey seems as ordinary as keeping chickens for eggs.”