MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The buzz in Minneapolis is the fact that the number of beekeepers is growing, and the number of people wanting to be a beekeeper is, too.
The City has actually given out three times as many beekeeping permits this year than last year. Since beekeeping was made legal two years ago, about a dozen permits have been approved. Another two dozen are still pending in Minneapolis.
According to Minneapolis beekeeper Chris Kulhanek, more people are taking classes in the Twin Cities on the hobby. They feel much more comfortable with caring for their bees after they learn the ins and outs of the hobby.
Kulhanek said she was the eighth person in the City to get her beekeeping permit. She set up the operation a few years ago and has grown it ever since.
“I’m a hobby beekeeper, and I’m doing this because it’s fun, not because I’m making any money at it,” said Kulhanek, who took a course on how to care for bees properly. “They’re fascinating to me! Bees fascinate me. They’re just intrinsically beautiful.”
The City requires beekeepers to take a beekeeping class. They also must have a fence around their hive. Some permits are still pending because all immediate neighbors must give approval too, and those folks are still waiting for that full approval.
The art to beekeeping starts with smoke. Kulhanek tries to calm her bees before she opens the hive in her friend’s south Minneapolis backyard, where 50,000 bees make their home.
“I spend time figuring out how to make my bees happy, so they will make more honey and wax and keep the neighborhood pollinated,” Kulhanek said.
She doesn’t spend much time actually caring for her honeybees. She checks on them once a week.
As if 50,000 aren’t enough, Kulhanek actually hopes to have more honeybees in the future.