I wake up when it's still dark, and my wife and kids are asleep. I crawl out of bed, make a cup of coffee, and then put on my bee suit and boots. My alarm goes off: it's 6AM, and I'm probably late.
Aiming to be a professional beekeeper while also maintaining a good family life has been challenging. I'm lucky as hell that my wife supports my bee madness - there are plenty of marriages out there that have failed because of beekeeping (well, they probably failed because of communication breakdown, but I'm sure beekeeping was blamed).
I had to move one hive this morning, out of someone's backyard and into my main apiary, in preparation for winter. When I got home around 7AM, I put on coffee, made breakfast, and then got my wife and daughter up. I put on a load of cloth diapers before getting my wife into the car and off to work. It may not come of a surprise, but I don't support my family on 40 warre and a couple of top-bar hives. My wife is a doctor, and I take care of our 4-month old and our 3 year old, in addition to doing household chores, in addition to trying to make it on my own in an industry that many say is a dying one. I used to be a landscape architect, but sitting behind a desk never felt right to me. Give me stinging insects over office politics any day.
Don't get me wrong, I will be making a good living at beekeeping one day, maybe in a couple of years. I've got a business plan and a dream that's covered in bees, and I seriously doubt anyone can make a good living in agriculture without some sort of plan. There's a long running joke in beekeeping that to make a small fortune you need to start with a big fortune. It may sound sappy, but for me, that big fortune is my family.
Without them I'd never be a beekeeper.