Hobby is sweeter than honey

Jennifer Forster began beekeeping after her son approached her about it on Mother's Day several years ago.  The two now maintain six hives.

Jennifer Forster’s passion for bees started with a unique Mother’s Day gift. Her son, Steven Redrup, approached her several years ago and suggested they start beekeeping.

Brian King has always been fascinated with the insects and a move to Pleasant City allowed him to pursue it his interest. He and his wife, Geri, lived in Washington DC for 30 years, but retired to Pleasant City.

Today Forster has six hives and King has three. They have been successfully maintaining their hives for three years.

They both credit part of their success to mentors and a beekeeping class through the Guernsey Noble Beekeepers Club.

Bees work to fill a comb with honey.

The club is a non-profit organization that promotes beekeeping and works to advance the skills of member beekeepers through monthly meetings and onsite demonstrations. It will hold a beginner’s class from 9 am to 2 pm Saturday, at the local Extension Office.

Forster, who began keeping bees before taking the class, admits it was overwhelming at first and she was learning by trial and error. After taking the class she had a much better grasp on how to tend her hives.

During the winter months beekeepers like Brian King need to place bee candy, a sugar and apple cider mixture, into the hives to ensure the bees have enough food.

Redrup jokingly said he thought it might be a way to make money but discovered that wasn’t going to be the case, especially since they give a lot of their honey away.

The mother-son team keep their hives for the primary purpose of producing honey and pollinating the yard. They gleaned approximately 20 pounds of honey from the hives over the summer. Forster is also interested in making candles once she has accumulated enough beeswax from the hives.

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