Sophomore explores beekeeping

Alanna Franklin maintains hives

Emma Leff


When did you start beekeeping?

I started beekeeping six years ago.

What kind of bees are they?

Italian gold.

How does the process work?

We buy hives and put them in our backyard. We monitor them and make sure they’re doing okay and have enough nectar. We plant flowers around (the hives).

What do you do with the honey?

We mainly use it or give it away as gifts. We make about $500 in annual sales.

What happens to the bees in the winter? We wrap (the hives) in sleeping bags to keep them warm. They don’t usually leave the hive unless it is warm.

I love that we always get honey and it’s nice having pollinators in our yard to keep our flowers pretty.

What is the hardest part about beekeeping?

The hardest part about beekeeping is extracting honey. It takes a long time and my family does it by hand, so it takes a lot of strength.

How has beekeeping impacted your life?

I get to meet a lot of new people because we are in a community with other beekeepers in St. Louis Park. It’s just fun to interact with people who love the same thing as we do.

What kind of bee would you keep?

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Would you recommend beekeeping? Why?

I would recommend beekeeping because there are many perks including getting other products besides honey, like propolis, which can heal things like scars. (Bees also produce) beeswax and you can make candles with it.

What do you want people to know about beekeeping?

Bees don’t sting unless they are targeted and there is no reason to be afraid of them. They won’t hurt you unless it’s a life-threatening situation for them because if a bee stings you, they die after that.