D.C.’s high pollen counts may make allergy sufferers sneeze and groan. But they’re a boon for bees, which use the golden powder to produce honey. And if you have enough outdoor space to grow flowers, you might be able to keep your own hive.
Eating honey gathered from the backyard sounds sweet. But caring for a swarm of stingers seems dangerous. “It’s easier than it seems,” says Toni Burnham, a veteran apiarist with two hives on Capitol Hil. To get buzzing, she recommends taking a class. “Beekeeping isn’t something you can learn from a book,” she says. “You’re developing a relationship with a very different creature.” Find local intro courses via the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association of Maryland and the Beekeepers Association of Northern Virginia.