Here is another kiwimana chat, this time we are talking with a beekeeper from Clarksville, MI USA, by the name of Robert Johnson. We hope you enjoy the chat.
Here is a bio that Robert supplied us:-
Robert helped his uncle Barney in his “honey house” warehouse in 1978 and 1979. Barney worked for a lumber company and his job was to scout trees to be cut for lumber. During this process he also scouted bees and often found beech trees in SW Indiana, US and cut them down to harvest the bees along with the lumber (with permission of course).
Robert's job during the summers was to help with the uncapping and placing frames into a 1000 frame extractor. Taste testing was the best part of the job, his uncle let him eat as much as he wanted… This is where Robert first got the bug which later…many years later developed into a hobby.
In 1998 Robert bought his first package of bees and began the hobby beekeeping.
Many trials, lost hives, bee stings and selling what honey he did not eat over the years. His son George started helping at the age of 5 running the smoker. The biggest harvest from one hive since he began 8 years earlier.
Robert expanded from one hive to two in 2006…and has grown to 17 currently (as of January 2013). He is looking to expand more this year.
Robert is a computer technician by day and enjoys presenting the hobby at local libraries and garden club meetings. He has added two bee logs this year already.
You can contact Robert via his web site at http://www.johnsonhobbyhive.com/
Here is the Peppermint plant that Robert discussed, Robert uses sprigs of this inside the hives to deter varroa mites.
Here are some of log hives that Robert has rescued (Click to Expand):-
* Photos courtesy of Robert Johnson
Here is the YouTube video of the chat:-