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Information Overwhelm And The Beekeeping Beginner ft Charlotte of Carolina Honey Bees

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Show Notes

Join Nicole and Charlotte of Carolina Honey Bees as they discuss how the information overwhelm can be a problem for beekeeping beginners.

What You’ll Learn

  • Where to find reputable online sources for the beekeeping beginner.
  • Common mistakes made by beekeeping beginners and how to overcome them.
  • The importance of learning beekeeping basics.
  • Why it is important to connect with local beekeeping clubs.

Our Guest

Charlotte grew up spending the summers on her Grandpa’s farm and her best friends were the farm animals. She enjoys gardening and became interested in beekeeping due to a passion to produce her own food. Over the years, she has devoted a lot of time to helping local beekeepers who are new to the hobby and I still enjoy doing that today. Charlotte and her husband live in the foothills of the South Carolina mountains with their chickens, mini donkeys, and other pets.

In addition to the free info on her site, Charlotte offers an online beekeeping class for beginners that is designed to help the new beekeeper get started and through the first Winter and honey harvest! Also available from Charlotte is a popular beekeeping journal that is available as a download and in print from Amazon. This is more than a diary – it has hive inspection sheets, a beekeeping calendar, and more. In just a couple of weeks, her new beekeeping beginners book will be published – Buzz into Beekeeping – it is available for pre-order now – link below.

Resources & Links Mentioned

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    Announcer: 0:01

    Welcome to the Backyard Bounty Podcast from, where we talk about all things backyard poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living, and more. And now here's your host, Nicole.

    Nicole: 0:17

    Hello, everybody. And thank you so much for joining me for another episode of Backyard Bounty. I'm your host Nicole and today I'm talking with Charlotte of Carolina Honeybees. And today we're going to talk about new beekeeper information overwhelm, analysis, paralysis, and how to get through that and where to find accurate information when it comes to beekeeping. So Charlotte, thank you so much for joining me today.

    Charlotte 0:40

    Thank you, Nicole it's an honor to be here with you today.

    Nicole: 0:44

    Yeah, I'm really excited to have you on the show. I've been following you for a while I really love your website and all of the information that you've got out there, your website is just chalk full of information. And and I imagine that you have been beekeeping for some time, just judging by that information that you have up there.

    Charlotte 1:01

    Yes, ma'am. I have been keeping bees for about 13 or 14 years now. And it's been kind of a blessing for me. I had a great interest in these long before I became a beekeeper. But none of my family members had bees. So this was something that I just had to pursue on my own. And I decided I really wanted to have bees. So started to educate myself. And thankfully the internet had come along. And so I was able to get some contact information there. That helped put me in contact with local people so that I could start my journey to becoming a beekeeper.

    Nicole: 1:46

    And were about in the US, are you and how many hives do you have? And tell us a little bit more about about your apiary?

    Charlotte 1:53

    Sure I am in upstate South Carolina, about 30 miles from the North Carolina line. Our little farm here is backed up against the mountains. And so we have some cold weather and we have hot weather too. Now in the past, I ran about 20 to 25 hives, but I had to do all the work by myself. And as I've gotten a little older that's not quite as easy to do on your own. So I don't keep but just like a like six hives now I've really had to downsize my apiary that I manage because I have to do it all by myself, I don't have children or grandchildren that I can draft to help grandma with her bees. So I have to do it all on my own. And the thing that we have to consider here in the south is it gets really hot. It gets really hot in July. And so some bookkeeping task, they still have to be done. Even if it's July and there's a heat index of 101. Or even if you've got reservations at the beach, there's still jobs that have to be done. So, in deciding how many hives I want to maintain, I've always said that I did not want to have more hives than I could take care of. Because then I cause bee deaths unnecessarily because I'm not able to manage the hives and keep them healthy.

    Nicole: 3:23

    Yeah, I definitely agree with that I kind of had a similar journey. I didn't know any other beekeepers and starting on my own and I had these grand dreams of having 50 to 100 hives and...

    Charlotte 3:34

    Yes, yes.

    Nicole: 3:35

    While I would still love to have more than I have now after my shoulder injury I was like, you know this that's just not realistic without having help. So I completely understand that.

    Charlotte 3:47

    Absolutely, and, and I think it's a little bit of a misnomer that sometimes. It seems that people are judged by how good a beekeeper they are by how many hives they have. And that is just so wrong because someone can have 75 boxes out there. But that doesn't mean they have 75 healthy well managed colonies of bees. You can have a beekeeper across the road who has four hives that are healthy and well taken care of. And so that person is actually a better beekeeper than the person who has so many hives they can't manage them.

    Nicole: 4:26

    Yeah, I think it's more enjoyable to have a few hives and get to know them intimately as almost as individuals then...

    Charlotte 4:34


    Nicole: 4:34

    And having a whole bunch and then you know, then it gets confusing. You're like "Okay, wait, when did I feed this hive?" Or when did I do my last mite treatment or you know, it can get confusing where if you have good record keeping you know that that's certainly helpful, but I enjoy knowing my hives is kind of like individuals I guess.

    Charlotte 4:51

    I agree. And each each colony has a personality. And I have one hive that I call my mean hive there actually not mean bees, but they they have just always been a little more fussy than the others. And when I'm getting ready to do hive inspections, I will ask myself do I want to start with grumpy, or end with grumpy? You know, and usually they don't disappoint me, they're pretty grumpy. They're not really bad, because if they were really aggressive, I would re-queen them. But they're healthy, and they make honey and and they're not really aggressive. They're just a little grumpy. But as you said, I know that that hive tends to be that way. So when you have a small number of hives, you really do get to know your individual bee families a little more than when you have a dozen or more.

    Nicole: 5:45

    Absolutely. And so kind of talking about getting to know them a little bit more and getting to know about beekeeping a little bit more. You mentioned that you started a few years ago. Did you have troubles kind of sourcing accurate information, then how did you manage that?

    Charlotte 6:01

    I did, I learned right away that there is just an explosion of beekeeping information. The problem is that it's too much information, bad information, and inappropriate for you information. And I find in teaching new beekeepers over the years, that that seems to be a bigger issue even today, as we have more beekeeping information online. Because when I started out, I went the route that most people do and that I purchased some good beekeeping books. But I joined a local Beekeeping Association, I was lucky enough to have one in my town. And I went to the meetings. And that gave me a inroad into information about keeping bees in my climate, which is very important. And once I was in that environment, then I was also privy to the beekeeper meetings, the state meetings, which are usually particularly good or speakers will come from all over the country, to a meeting in the different states. And I think just about every state has a state Beekeepers Association. And I got to go to those meetings. And I really learned a lot there and avoided some of the confusion that I see a lot of new beekeepers having today, especially with COVID, where we're not able to go out and actually meet with people as much. And as bees have become big news. We see a lot of information online. That's written by people who have never opened a beehive in their life.

    Nicole: 7:54

    Yeah, I've noticed that too, that there's a plethora of misinformation out there.

    Charlotte 7:59


    Nicole: 8:00

    Oftentimes, it's people that mean, well, you know, it's not on purpose. They're not misguiding people intentionally, but, you know, you really have to be cautious with with where you source your information. And in fact, check I guess that's probably a hot, hot term in 2020, for a lot of things, but fact check.

    Charlotte 8:18

    Yes, you do. And oftentimes, you have, where we have people who don't know what they're talking about, that they may mean, well, but they think they got to beat on things. Because you know, there was a time I thought I knew it, too. I you know, you start off in beekeeping and you feel overwhelmed, like you don't know anything. And then you go through a year or so, you know, a few years down the line, you're like, Okay, I got it, I kind of know what we're doing here. And then usually, if you hang on long enough, you come to a term or you say, oh, man, I don't got it. These bees, we're not supposed to do this. I did this, this and this. And they're supposed to do that, that that they don't. And so it's I think most good beekeepers become humbled over time. Because we learned that we will never control these bees, we work and use their natural tendencies to try to produce honey and provide them with a healthy life, but we don't control them. And I think that's an important thing to keep in mind. But, but sometimes I see a lot of bad information online. And when people are giving advice of things that just absolutely won't work.

    Nicole: 9:41

    Yeah, you know, one of the things that I find often online and this is probably a bit of a side topic, but like you said not being able to control them, which is absolutely correct. And I see a lot of times, I think kind of a source of that. And is and I'm gonna mispronounce this term, but anthropomorphism where people are giving the bees human characteristics were not like we were saying earlier about how you have a grumpy high. But you know, all the ladies decided to come greet me and you know all of this stuff that means well, right, but they are effectively manage livestock and an insect. And they're, they're not a dog, they don't, they don't really care if you had a good day or a bad day, or, you know, they're...

    Charlotte 10:30

    Exactly, they have a goal, they have their bee goal. They don't care what your goal is, they're not there to pollinate your garden. They're not there to make you honey, they are there to do what bees do. And they're so focused on that. And in we can use those tendencies to help us meet our goals, and keep them healthy and productive as well. But bees are not, it's not like having a puppy, or even a cow, you know, because you just can't come you can't control where they go. And I think that's an important thing to understand is you will never completely control them. In the topic of swarming. When a colony becomes overcrowded. In general, the colony will split into two parts, and about half the population or so with the old queen leave to make a new home. And that leaves about half a population in the mother hive with hopefully a queen sail to make a new queen. Well, that is great the honeybee as a insect as an organism, because now, instead of one crowded colony, we have two colonies that can grow. But as beekeepers, we don't always want that to happen. Because This usually happens in the spring, right before be below before the honey flow time. And the honey flow time is when there's a large abundance of nectar for the bees to collect and make our honey crop. So you don't want to say half your workforce flying away across the field when it's time for them to make honey for you. And so sometimes, especially new beekeepers, you know, they get so discouraged because they think they should be able to prevent their bees from swarming. And you can't always do that. Because that is natural in bee life. It's just something they do to reproduce on a colony level. And yes, there are techniques and strategies that you can do to try to suppress that urge. But you're never going to have 100% swarm prevention in every situation without locking the bees in the hive. And that's not very good, either. Yeah, they're not gonna make honey for you if they're locked up inside either.

    Nicole: 12:53

    Right? That's true. So you mentioned earlier that you've been doing some education and things. So with your experience through beekeeping, in your experience in educating, what are some of the common misconceptions or misinformation that new beekeepers tend to bring up or that you've noticed throughout your teaching?

    Charlotte 13:16

    Well, this swarming issue was a big one, the books and the articles on how to prevent swarming, and then they're disappointed when they can't stop the swarm. They feel that they have failed in that aspect of beekeeping because their colonies swarmed. And I, when this happens, I tell them, Well, no, no, you didn't do anything wrong. Actually, it's kind of a compliment, because your colony was healthy and strong enough to swarm a weak sick colony won't swarm. So you did such a good job as a beekeeper that your colony grew to a level that it was able to expand. And while that might not be what we wanted to happen, it still shows that you you were doing a good job to get your bees to that point. I think also, new beekeepers sometimes fail to understand the importance of the queen bee. And we know she is the single most important individual in the hive. But because each hive must have a queen bee or else they cannot carry on and survive. Yet I think sometimes the genetics of the queen, which let's face it, most of us beekeepers, when we go to purchase a queen bee, we buy what we can get. I mean you may order a certain breed or a certain bloodline, you know from a certain provider when you want to introduce new genetics into your colony, but most of the beekeepers that I come in contact with, it'll be a situation where they'll say "Oh my gosh, I've lost my queen, Where can I buy one?" and they're gonna buy whichever one they can find it's close to home. And that queen bee is very important because the genetics that she has, and I'm not talking about whether she's an Italian or Carniolan, or Russian or whatever, I'm just saying, even within each race or within each genetic pal, she can be so different. You can have six colonies that are all Italian bees. But each one can have a different temperament. And I think sometimes, new beekeepers don't really understand how important that queen is that if you've got a hive that is not growing, and progressing as you think it should, and they have plenty of food coming in, and you don't see any other problems, you have to really evaluate your queen and say, you know, do I have a queen that isn't that great? Because they're not all created equal? Some are better layers than others?

    Nicole: 16:04

    Yeah, I think that's, that's a great point. Because, you know, there's so many different variables and, and a lot of times it can be once the extraneous possibilities are ruled out the queen is potentially where the problem is, and definitely, she's the heart of the hive, basically. So if something's wrong, that's a good place to check.

    Charlotte 16:25

    Yes, because she's the mother of everybody.

    Nicole: 16:27

    Mm hmm.

    Charlotte 16:28

    So if you've got worker bees that tend to be fussy, in in runny on the comb, that run around on the comb, instead of being calm, you know, once in a while, I'll have a colony that normally, if everything calm in the bee universe, I can remove a frame, and I'm inspecting and looking at the bees. And as long as I'm calm and do it in the proper way, the bees pretty much go about their business, they don't really care that I'm looking at them, or if they do, they don't say, but occasionally I'll have a colony that the bees are just kind of running around hive on the frame all the time, every time. And I think that's a little bit of a genetic thing. It's not weather related. Because you know, I have different weather, it's not food related. It's just a genetic thing. For some hives to be a little different than others. I think the other biggest misconception or mistake that people make, or do not give enough thought to is where to put my beehive. And I say that because oftentimes, the majority of beekeepers are not the people that have 100 200 500 hives, the majority of beekeepers in the United States have two, one, two, maybe four, and often new beekeepers don't realize that that hive is gonna get heavy. And you need to have that on a firm foundation. I hear every year of people who put their hives on wooden stands that are not strong enough. And then as the season goes by, and honey builds up in the hive, and the population grows and boxes are added, then you've got this really heavy hive sitting on this rickety stand. You know, and I've seen some pictures from some of my beekeeping class students. And I'm just like, No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you you just you've got to make that hive, you got to get something out there. So not only the base that you set the hive on, you need to prepare something that is going to be able to hold the weight of what your beehive is going to become. But also where you put it. Because often, I've had people we all love having the the hives close to the house, because isn't it nice just to go out the back door and sit on your porch and watch the bees come and go in and out the entrance. I like doing that still. However, the temperament of the hive changes. You know, when you get your package bees in the spring, the colony is small. They're very busy, they have a lot to do. They're not going to be quite as fussy, as a rule as they will when we get into maybe July, August, September. And now that little package of bees that had 10,000 members has grown to 40, 45,000 or more. And they've got a hive full of babies and food that they want to protect from anybody. So having that hive too close to your house is not a good idea. You need to have your hive out as far as you can from your home and your neighbor's garage because it's confusing to the bees. Yes, you can move on but when you move a hive short distances, because of the way bees navigate, they get confused. And you can lose bees that way. So I think, where finding a good location for my beehive is one of the things that a lot of new beekeepers make a mistake about and wish later that they hadn't, that I think they should give that a bit more thought in thinking of, "Okay, if I have a hive here, and it's really strong, and the bees are a little grumpy for some months of the year, isn't this going to be a problem?"

    Nicole: 20:41

    Yeah, I know I made that mistake in my first year as well. And now the bees are almost the end of my two acres where I can see them.

    Charlotte 20:48


    Nicole: 20:49

    But I can go out and mow and let the dog out. And I don't have to worry if the grumpy hives and an extra bad mood because it's windy and overcast.

    Charlotte 20:58

    Absolutely, absolutely. And the thing about you know, if you have a hive that gets especially grumpy to the point where you want to replace the queen, or maybe they've lost their queen, and so you're having to give them a new queen, anything that temporarily makes bees that then aren't defensive, a little more defensive than usual. It takes time. Because even if you put a new queen in there today, and then her babies are going to be the gentlest, most easygoing babies in the world, it's gonna take at least three weeks for them to start to to mature. If she laid the egg today is still going to be 21 days before her babies hatch, and then they're going to spend a few weeks in the hive. So you're looking easy at five or six weeks, from the time you put that queen in there to these sweeter bees are out. And in the meantime, you've got all the grumpy bees. They're mad, they're probably mad because you brought in a new woman who is putting sisters in there, there's not kin to them. So it's, you really need to place your hives give really a lot of thought on where to place your hives so that if a problem arises is not a great catastrophe is having it right by the back door.

    Nicole: 22:17

    Definitely. So there's obviously you know, a ton of information that we could talk about as far as misinformation for new beekeepers and suggestions and guidance. I mean that that could span multiple episodes over several hours. But for someone who's going online and trying to figure out where to put their bee hive or when to re-queen or you know, any of the questions that somebody has, you mentioned local clubs. But what are some other suggestions that you have as far as accurate reputable good information for new beekeepers to follow?

    Charlotte 22:54

    Any of the ".edu" websites are good. Most of the universities have beekeeping, like extension websites. That's going to be basic good information. I think any of those are good to to look at. And I think when you're researching about bees, there's two components to consider. One is beekeeping basics. beekeeping basics is pretty much the same. Whether you live in South Carolina or Colorado or New York City or wherever the needs of the colony how the colony interacts the jobs, the individual bees do. These basics are the same, no matter who you learn them from. Then there's the local component. And in that we're talking about how much food does my colony need for the winter? How much do I have to insulate or wrap up my hive for winter or not? You know, those are the things that you're going to get from a local source. So a good way to learn is to is to have a little bit of both, you know to learn your basics from any good source you can find and then try to connect with some local people or contact your local extension office and they can put you in in contact with beekeeping associations in your area, so that you can find the local lowdown on what happens locally. When does the honey plants bloom in your region? How many times a year do you get to the beekeepers there get to harvest honey? Here in my area. We can only we only harvest honey really once a year. We have so many things blooming in late March, April, May into June. After the sire woods finished. It's done. I get no more honey. And I know that the my bees may bring in a little Goldenrod in the fall. But if so, I usually just leave it for them to replenish what they've used since I harvest it. And in but in some parts of the country they have some good fall flows. So learning what blooms when and how many times to pull your honey, how to insulate your house for winter. Those are the kind of things that you really need to learn to have some local resources.

    Nicole: 25:33

    Yeah, that's, that's a good point. because like you said, biology and behavior and stuff is pretty universal. But there are a lot of unique local traits and things that you would need to know about for effective management, to kind of expand upon that I thought I'd just throw out some others thoughts are things that I recommend to people or sources that I really like. I did a podcast with a gentleman from the honeybee Health Coalition a while back, and he mentioned this website, and I'll put the link in the description but it's And the ".edu" that you mentioned in the extensions that you mentioned, this is kind of the website where most of the articles are located. So it's kind of a library of the extension articles, specifically to beekeeping because the extension websites generally talk about gardening and livestock and lawn care and stuff. So this is kind of a library of just those. And then a lot of times local clubs or state clubs will have beginner beekeeping classes, which I think are really great. And even some colleges are starting to do beginner beekeeping classes. I know the University of Montana has a number of classes, I believe the Wyoming college, I can't remember exactly what it's called offhand. But they have their conference in their beginning beekeeping course, and then, you know, certain podcasts again, I think you have to be careful with that. But I know like on this podcast I've, I've had on some local researchers and university researchers and some really reputable folks. So I think those are some good sources to do you know of any other classes or anything like that for new beekeepers?

    Charlotte 27:19

    Well, I think our new beekeeper I would, I would start with my state associations, the state beekeeping associations, many of them have master beekeeper programs. And even if you have no desire to go through a long program to get a title, it still is a really good way to learn more about bees because they start out at the most basic level and then you can go as far as you want to. I encourage people to take more than one beekeeping class. And the reason why is because in beekeeping, there are so many variables, and what one person thinks is important that you really need to know may be different than what another person thinks. I've taken several beekeeping classes, and I've learned something different from each one.

    Nicole: 28:11

    I'm really glad that you brought that up, because I think that's also a common concern for new beekeepers. You know, they might read well, this beekeepers says to do X, Y, and Z. But this one says to do A, B and C but this person says something completely different.

    Charlotte 28:26


    Nicole: 28:27

    I don't know what in the world to do. So I think that that kind of shows and a lot of ways how flexible bees are. You know, there are certainly some rules to follow. But I think people are so worried about messing up and oh my gosh, if I don't do something just right, then my bees are going to die or they're going to abscond or something. But for the most part, they're pretty forgiving. And I would use the term adaptable loosely but you know, they can adapt to a lot of things. So I think it's good, like you said to look at several different resources, get some different thoughts and then do what works best for you because for the most part, your bees are going to be okay, you're not you're not going to do something catastrophic. You know, for the most part.

    Charlotte 29:12

    I agree as long as they have food and you control parasites in whichever way that tends to be for your beekeeping philosophy, and they have a laying, good queen, bees can survive us in most instances. And as I tell people I know as a new beekeeper, it is so frustrating to have all this conflicting advice. You don't know what to do. It's as bad as trying to buy healthy dog food.

    Nicole: 29:47

    That's true.

    Charlotte 29:49

    I was trying to buy healthy dog food for my little puppy on a few years ago when he was a puppy and and I just got so confused. It just became more and more confusing. So I that's how new beekeepers often feel. And usually, when you see someone, if you come across a source that says, you have to do this, beware. Because, the advice the person's giving you may be great advice. But it may not be. And that person is so convinced that that's the only way to do something, if something better comes along, he or she's not gonna want to change. So take advice with a grain of salt, ask more than one source. And that way, you can have a general consensus before you make big decisions on what to do with your hives.

    Nicole: 30:47

    Yeah, and I would also take that a step further and say, if you ask for help on social media groups, which are a wonderful resource, just, you know where I'm going with this, just today, that you will get lots of suggestions. Some of them are not always friendly, and some of them will often conflict. But just take in the information and pick what you think is going to work best for you. And I'm sure that you've, you've experienced things like that as well.

    Charlotte 31:18

    I have exactly experienced things like that. And I actually have a Facebook group. It's not a big group. It's just a small group. It's a private group, and where people, I really made it for people who had taken my beekeeping class, but I let some other people in sometimes and and we have a you have to be nice role. If someone asked an honest question, and you can't have the ability to answer in a nice way or scroll on by, you're in the wrong group. I don't want new beekeepers to feel intimidated. There are no dumb questions. You mean, you may feel like it's a dumb question, because you might think you should know it. But there are no dumb questions. As long as it's a sincere question. But when you go into these groups, whether it's Facebook or wherever, and you start asking questions, which is a good way to learn, you're going to get some wild responses. And maybe you'll get some really good ones too. So you just kind of have to be ready to wade through those and find the gold.

    Nicole: 32:26

    Yes. More sources of confusion for the new beekeeper. It doesn't surprise me that so many new beekeepers fail. Unfortunately it can be. It can be challenging, and not not always just because of the bees.

    Charlotte 32:40

    Exactly. And everybody worries about, Well, maybe not everybody, but many people worry about getting stung. And yes, if you keep bees chances are you're going to get stung, but you're not going to get stung every day. And over time, especially if you wear protective gear. As you learn how to handle your bees, the stinging instances get to be fewer and fewer. I rarely get stung. I do get stung still on, I don't like it. But I don't get stung very often. But it's something that people worry about. And you can hear all kinds of advice online, in these help groups about what to do to keep that from happening. Don't worry, any protective gear just go in there, protect, you know, just go in almost nudie Rudy. And the bees will know you're not afraid my bees would light you up and especially grumpy hive. So do what makes you comfortable. Do what makes you comfortable. Enjoy your bees. Don't forget to enjoy your bees. You know, unless you're really special, you're not going to make enough money of this to retire. You know, if you're wanting to keep bees to save money on honey, don't you know find a local bookkeeper and buy your honey. But if you want to produce your own honey, and that was the thing for me. I wanted to produce my own honey, I thought it was fascinating that you could take a wild insect, get it to live in a box and get honey from it. And I still think that's fascinating today, and if that's what you want to do, then it's worth the effort.

    Nicole: 34:28

    So obviously there's a lot of information out there. But you have a beekeeping class I know can you tell us a little bit more about the class and who should sign up for it like what you know whether it's geographical or where people are there bee camp, beekeeping experience

    Charlotte 34:46

    My beekeeping class you can buy through my website, and it's hosted on think if it gets $119 and it consists of, of you know written word and videos. I have a lot of videos in there. It's for the person, it's for the new beekeeper. It covers from the beginning process of why you want to be a beekeeper. What you need to buy, what you don't need to buy, how much of it you need to buy, when you need to get it, how to order your bees, there's different ways to buy these. And each one has pros and cons, one's not necessarily better or worse than the other. So it guides you through that whole first year, preparing for the bees, buying the bees, getting them, manage them through that summer, getting them ready for winter. And then the next spring, getting them ready to make honey for the honey season. Also have a small section on harvesting honey, where I talk about how to decide when to take your honey, how to get the honey away from the bees, and how to, you know just general how to extract your honey. And the class came about it's been very well received. I have a lot of students that have taken the class over the last three years. But where it came from, was for many years, I taught the sections of the beginner class at local venues, you know, for the local beekeepers club, or I would visit a beekeepers club in another county or for a like a homesteaders thing that they would have a convention. So I've done a lot of teaching. And over the years, I've learned the kind of things that beginners want to know, what questions do they ask? And so I kept adding to my information as time went on. And I'd say okay, so this person asked a question that I hadn't been covering in previous sessions. So then the next time I would add that in. And so I ended up with a pretty good coverage I think of basic beekeeping in the class covers all that.

    Nicole: 37:13

    And, if I understand correctly, you also have a book coming out as well?

    Charlotte 37:17

    Yes, my book came out two weeks ago. It's called buzz into beekeeping. A step by step guide to becoming a successful bookkeeper it's really cool. When I did my classes, when I did my teaching, I would create a booklet that I would hand out to the students. And this is that plus more. It also has sections on making things with wax and making things with honey and you know how to use your things. But basically it is that first year first year and a half journey into beekeeping. And I think anyone who had my class and book or either or should be able to get off to a great start with their bees. This is not has anything to do with being in South Carolina. It's good for any beekeeper, because it's mostly basic stuff in when I go into things like preparing for winter. If you live in North Dakota, you're going to have a colder winter than I'm going to have in South Carolina. So always make sure to mention that you know, like if you live in the south, you might need to do this. However, if you live here, you need to do more. So though it covers the basics, the stuff that fits any bitkeeper pretty much in the US and then you would apply any special local things that you may have going on in your area that would affect the bees, whether that would be high winds or blizzards or whatever may be in your geographical region.

    Nicole: 38:58

    All right, great. Well, that sounds like a really great resource for new and beginning beekeepers. Where else can we find you online or elsewhere?

    Charlotte 39:08

    You can visit my website at I do not have a retail store. There is another business that has a similar name and sometimes we have a little confusion there. But and you will find make there and see beekeeper Charlotte with maybe a couple of pictures of many donkeys thrown in for fun. And all kinds of information on there about keeping bees crafting with beeswax and honey. I'm doing a little honey recipes. I'm not really a cook I'm more than eater outer. But I do like using my honey in recipes. And so I have a little bit of that and then I really love gardening I used to have large vegetable gardens. And I hope to get back to that. But I have a little bit about bee friendly gardening, in reference to planting for bees, because beekeepers always want to plant for bees. And so I think that's a great thing. Because if you're a hungry bee, even one pot of flowers is an oasis. So I have a good section on making a bee friendly garden on the website as well.

    Nicole: 40:32

    Wonderful. Well, as always, I'll put links to all of those in the show notes so that people can find them easily. But this has been, I think, a really great resource. I really hope that this helps out some new beekeepers and they can listen to this and maybe feel a little bit better about their beekeeping journey.

    Charlotte 40:49

    And feeling encouraged because failures will happen. Every beekeeper loses hives, they might not admit it, but they do. And we all feel bad. Even after all these years when I have a colony die, I think, "Oh, what should I have done?" but you can't control everything. This is free flying livestalk that are going to go out and get into pesticides. Sometimes they're going to be exposed to things. The weather plays a big role and availability of food and pollen. So you've got a lot of things going on. The beekeepers should not beat themselves up. If they've done their best to educate themselves and prepare their hives. You've done all you can do.

    Nicole: 41:36

    Absolutely. Some things are just out of your control.

    Charlotte 41:39

    They are.

    Nicole: 41:40

    Well, Charlotte, I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much for joining me and talking about new beekeeper misconception and helping us guide beekeepers to the right sources.

    Charlotte 41:50

    Thank you Nicole has been a pleasure.

    Nicole: 41:53

    Well, that does it for today's episode. If you'd like to sign up for a new episode alerts submit a question for me to answer on the show and so much more. Please text the word podcast to 719-292-3207 or visit Again, that's podcast to 719-292-3207 or Thank you so much for joining me and I'll see you again next week.

    Announcer: 42:26

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