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By Irene Sege
Globe Staff / April 28, 2008
All morning one cool, drizzly April Sunday, cars pull up to the Reseska Apiaries warehouse in Holliston - one driven by an attorney, one carrying a plumber and a machinist, another a yoga studio owner. The occasion is the arrival by truck of 270 three-pound boxes of honeybees from Georgia, all ready for pick-up by a diverse and burgeoning cadre of backyard beekeepers.
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"When I signed up for bee school, I thought there would be six people," says Kristina Ward, a 38-year-old landscape designer from Norfolk. "It turned out there's a whole subculture."
Subculture indeed. Ward is among almost four dozen aspiring beekeepers who recently completed the Norfolk County Beekeepers Association introductory "bee school," up from 17 two years ago.
Across Massachusetts and beyond, interest in beekeeping is exploding. Plymouth County's bee school had 40 students this spring, up from about two dozen two years ago. Worcester County, home of the nation's oldest county beekeepers' association, attracted 200 to its most recent course, almost double its 2005 enrollment. Essex County turned away some 40 aspiring beekeepers this year and taught another 93, a dramatic increase in interest over 2007, when 90 students enrolled, and well above the 60 or 70 typical before that. The Massachusetts Beekeepers Association has 320 members with 2,000 hives, up from 93 members with an estimated 1,500 hives in 2006."
This is on my list of plans for the future--beekeeping. For some of us, it will be more than just a hobby! Not only would keeping bees be good for honey but they would also be good for the pollination of the food garden!