My name is Richard Homer, I am a semi-retired 60 year old. I love gardening and being outdoors. Years ago I noticed a huge decline in bees in my garden and fruit trees. I used to be able to listen to a symphony of bees in my large cherry tree in bloom. The number of bees I was seeing was way off of normal.
My interest in the plight of the honey bee was heightened by a few news stories about Colony Collapse Disorder, and the large losses the commercial beekeepers were seeing across the country. I also saw a documentary “The Vanishing of the bees”. I was intrigued and a bit alarmed. Like the canary in the coal mine to warn the miners of bad air or harmful chemicals. I saw the bee as the Canary in my Garden. I started to look into possibly having bees in my yard (.25-acre lot in suburbia).
I was a little naive about how a hive would impact my personal yard with pets and grandchildren visiting and of course how my neighbors would feel. I had a Nephew in Law that had gotten bees the year before and also lived in a suburban setting. He invited me over to see his hive and experience a hive of bees for the first time. I was hooked! What fascinating creatures the humble honey bees are. The more I learned and experienced the more intrigued and fascinated I became. I got my first hive and was so enamored by these industrious hard working insects. They grew from one box until they filled 4 boxes with bees. With 22 frames of honey, I was able to harvest 5 gallons of honey my first fall and leave that much in the hive for the winter. The next spring I expanded to 4 hives and then 15 the next year, then 50. I now have over 700 hives that I manage adding more every year. My goal was to bring bees back to the city. So all my hives were hosted by families all over the city. It has become a passion of mine to care for my bees and love telling others about these amazing creatures. I teach classes now and help others learn how to successfully keep bees and provide a resource to get fair priced equipment and bees each year. I hope you enjoy your journey of discovery as much as I have.