Some of you may or may not have heard: Me, Mr. Adriano Ciotoli, is taking beekeeping lessons.

For those that know the Ciotoli’s and our fear of bees, I’ll wait a moment until you can stop laughing……now, back to the ‘serious’ stuff. My decision to learn beekeeping was interesting. There was an issue that had, for the last couple months, consistently popped up in my life: the widespread decimation of the bee population. Over and over and over, on an almost daily basis this issue kept creeping into my life.

While scientists have differing opinions on what causes it (I have my own theories), the disappearance/death of the bees has been labelled as colony collapse disorder (CCD) and is marked by the sudden disappearance of worker bees from a colony. First recognized by U.S. beekeepers in 2006, it has now also affected bee colonies across western Europe.

One of the instructors showcases to the class his hives.

From the most local stats I could find, our neighbours to the north, Michigan, lost approximately 54% of their honey bee population over the 2010-2011 winter. That’s insane.  If you’re thinking, “who cares bees are a nuisance” let me put it this way: Bees pollinate. The majority of crops need pollination. No bees, no pollination. No pollination, no crops. No crops, no real food. It’s a serious issue that I felt I needed to help do something about, fear of bees be darned. (As a side note, honey bees adn yellow jackets are two completely different things).

So after doing some research, I found a great beekeeping course being offered by the South East Michigan Beekeepers Association and jumped right into it. Over the next few months, I’ll be trying to document and share with you my progress through the entire course with some articles and videos.

This past weekend was my first class and the video above is a brief look at what took place. The very first words spoken to the class were, “You will be stung. Odds are multiple times.” I cringed, wanted to cry and wondered what I had got myself into. Like seriously. Bees…………bees.

I purchased my first hive parts and have started assembling the hive boxes as well as frames which will house the bees and in the next couple months will be documenting my progress through class. Hope you enjoy it.