For Chris and Laurie Younger and their daughter, Kate, spreading the phrase about beekeeping, native vegetation and different insect and animal pollinators is a household affair.
Even their golden retriever, Griffin, had his personal unlucky run-in with the bees when he ate one. He totally recovered from his swollen face however has left the beekeeping to the people ever since.
The Youngs first began beekeeping in 2012 within the yard of their Del Ray dwelling, however their journey to beekeeping began lengthy earlier than that.
“I want I might say that there was some actually massive occasion that mentioned, ‘A-ha! Now I’m going to maintain bees!’ however it actually was a sequence of small issues,” defined Chris Younger.
His spouse is a gardener and was studying in regards to the optimistic environmental influence of planting native vegetation. Rising up, he remembered having a neighbor who saved beehives in his yard, though he didn’t work together with them besides as a dare from his associates.
After studying “A Guide of Bees” by Sue Hubbell, the place the writer detailed her expertise managing 300 beehives at her dwelling within the Ozarks, promoting honey and the science behind the method, Younger realized it was one thing he might do. Across the similar time, a household good friend had moved to a 3 acre “farmette” and was scuffling with the dearth of bees on her property. Chris Younger found the Northern Virginia Beekeepers Affiliation and commenced to take lessons. By way of the lessons he met a whole lot of neighbors who had been additionally eager about beekeeping together with his mentor, Whitney Lengthy.
Along with the specter of Varroa mites or different parasites which may actually suck the life out of the bees, Chris Younger shared that generally your individual ignorance and clumsiness could be your greatest enemy.
He recalled a time when he unintentionally drowned one among his queen bees in honey. He additionally made the error of sporting darkish colours across the bees as soon as and was instantly circled by the guard bees. There’s a motive beekeepers often put on white, as a result of an individual dressed up in all darkish colours can look similar to a bear attempting to raid the hive. He rapidly discovered that beekeeping is a lifelong strategy of trial and error, made simpler by evaluating notes with fellow beekeepers and sharing one another’s experiences.
Beekeeping is an funding of money and time. Del Ray Bee at the moment manages 4 hives. Three are situated of their yard and one sponsored hive is in
a neighbor’s yard. Through the busy harvest season in early summer time, managing these can take up as a lot as 8-10 hours each different week. Harvest season can get messy and it’s commonplace to have door knobs round the home sticky with honey. The tools wanted to correctly maintain the bees may expensive and take time to build up.
Whereas Chris Younger is the first individual coping with the hives, his spouse and daughter assist out in different methods. Laurie Younger designed their emblem and makes certain the yard is stuffed with many native flowers and vegetation to help the bees, whereas Kate Younger has taken an curiosity within the native bee inhabitants.
The Youngs are pleased to share their data on the vital pollination course of with their group. Neighbors know Chris Younger because the “bee man” and infrequently come to him to establish bees, wasps and yellow jackets close to their properties.
They rented a sales space at Del Ray’s annual Artwork on the Avenue three years in the past supplied honey tasting, samples of vegetation to help native pollinators and an remark hive. In addition they attend science nights at native elementary faculties Cora Kelly, Mount Vernon and Patrick Henry. One of the crucial rewarding moments at one among these science nights was when a father got here as much as their show along with his two younger daughters. The daddy, who was blind, was capable of contact and discover what’s on the within of a hive (with out the bees!) and share that second along with his household.
Del Ray Bee appears to be like ahead to persevering with to share with the group. They’ve plans to construct a brand new platform for the hives. They’re additionally on the level the place they are going to be harvesting sufficient honey to promote and are trying into bottling and promoting at native farmers markets sooner or later.
Observe Del Ray Bee on Instagram @delraybee.