What’s the buzz on Birmingham’s local beekeeping community?

beekeeping
Beekeeping isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Photo via Unspalsh

VSCO girls said, “Save the Bees,” but Birmingham beekeepers have been maintaining this goal since before scrunchies were brought back in style. Our amazing little honey bees provide so much for mankind and behind every hive is a dedicated beekeeper with the knowledge and expertise to make sure our world stays bee-utiful.

Join the hive 🐝

honey, beekeeping
You’ll see signs like these all throughout Bluff Park. Learn more about the Clean Hoover Initiative. Photo via Jessica Broom for Bham Now

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you don’t know all you need to know about Birmingham beekeeping—and neither do I! So I sought out some info on where we can take on this sweet journey together.

Alabama Beekeepers Association

Consider this the Queen Bee of our state’s associations. From here, you can build relationships with other beekeepers across Alabama and be connected to different aspects of the beekeeping community.

“The ABA’s objective is to assist in checking the spread of honey bee diseases, to spread and exchange information on experiences, ideas and improved methods of production and sale of queens, package bees and honey, to inform the public of the importance and value of honey bees as pollinators of plants and of honey as food for man and to elevate the business of beekeeping to a place of eminence in the agricultural industry.”

Alabama Beekeepers Association

While the association definitely has a mission, most importantly they revel in the idea of making friends through a shared common interest. The ABA even gives out scholarships for youth beekeepers!

Jefferson County Beekeeper Association

You don’t have to be a pro to join the JCBA, they welcome even the most novice of aspiring beekeepers. Take beginners’ classes, find out where to buy and sell honey, and take part in discussions with your local beekeeping community.

Shelby County Beekeeper Association

As a member of the Shelby County Beekeeper Association, you’re also able to educate yourself through classes and connect with the local hive. They even have a honey tasting contest—which sounds like reason enough to become a member.

Foxhound Bee Company

There may be thousands in a hive, but this is only a team of two. Foxhound Bee Company holds beekeeping education courses and discussions at Samford University. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced in the craft, Foxhound is able to provide you with their wealth of expertise—they also sell quality beekeeping equipment.

Beekeeping in Alabama Facebook Group

Ah, nothing shares more knowledge than a Facebook group. Seriously—members discuss the day in the life of a beekeeper from those who’ve been at it for years to maybe a couple that picked it up as a quarantine hobby. It’s especially great during the time of COVID-19 where normal beekeeper meetings and events may be canceled.

I’m more interested in honey 🍯

honey, beekeeping
Kurt Kristensen of Bluff Park Honey gearing up to sell his honey at Saint Mark United Methodist Church. Photo via Bluff Park Honey’s Facebook

We all know the amazing benefits to local honey—or you definitely should. Any time I get a sore throat or feel a sinus infection coming on it’s straight to my top cabinet—not for allergy medicine—but raw honey.

A spoonful does wonders, but what actually qualifies as local? We discussed it in a previous article—basically, for Birminghamians, it’s honey from North-Central Alabama.

Where to buy

You can find raw local honey at tons of spots around Birmingham if you know what you’re looking for. Here’s just a small list to get started:

How else can you get involved in the beekeeping community? Share it with us on social @BhamNow on Facebook and Instagram, or @Now_Bham on Twitter.