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Giesenhagen Installs Bee Hives South of Horace

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Renee Giesenhagen and her son.

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Renee Giesenhagen and her son.

Local residents may notice new visitors in their outdoor space this year. Greeley County resident Renee Giesenhagen recently installed two hives of bees at her home, located about a mile south of Horace. With help from her mentor, Brenda Seader of Sharon Springs, Giesenhagen installed the hives on Monday, May 15.  Each hive initially contains around 15,000 – 20,000 bees and will eventually provide a home to approximately 90,000 bees. Giesenhagen credits Seader with sparking her interest in bee-keeping. “When I lived in Wallace County, Brenda contacted my family about putting hives on our property. She knew that different types of honey could be produced by placing hives in different locations throughout the county.” Giesenhagen said. “Brenda had had hives there for three to four years and I became interested in how they worked.” The bees Giesenhagen installed, Cordovan Italian bees, will typically travel 3-4 miles from the hive searching for pollen.  That means people may see them in a tree, on certain plants, or in a specific area of a field.  Bees have a way of communicating and can alert other bees to good sources of pollen. “The Cordovan Italian bees are yellow and brown and are very docile,” says Giesenhagen. “They will not sting you if you leave them alone.” Like all bees, they are very sensitive to chemicals and Giesenhagen specifically asks that farmers in close proximity to their place, located near the intersection of Highway 96 and Road 14, pay special attention to chemical drift. She has registered with DriftWatch.org and asks local farmers who plan to spray near her house to call or text her to let her know.  She can cover the hive to protect the bees from the chemicals. Giesenhagen is eager to share honey with local residents, but does not expect to harvest a crop this year. From her own experience, Giesenhagen knows that eating local honey can help individuals who suffer from allergies in addition to being a tasty addition to many products. People with questions or who would like to know more about bee-keeping are encouraged to contact Giesenhagen at (785) 821-3646 or on Facebook. Giesenhagen also operates Duck Duck Goose Daycare and Clicks on 96 Photography. She is also starting a produce farm where she hopes to offer a large variety of fresh produce this fall.
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