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Keeping Backyard Bees (KBBees for short) is a joint effort by Mother Earth News and Grit magazines to create a hive mind of information on bees, beekeeping, pollen, hives, honey, and much more. Our readers may be seasoned beekeepers, they may be interested in starting a hive, or they may even just be concerned about the well-being of bees and want to know what they can do to help. Whatever the reason, we’re glad you’ve stopped by.
Welcome to summer and all it entails: barbecues, hiking, evening walks—and bee stings and bug bites. Take heart: You don’t have to spend the entire season scratching. Many of the best anti-itch remedies are as close as your backyard, kitchen or local health-food store. No single remedy will work for everyone, so experiment to see […]Read more »
Is this not the coolest ever?! LEGO Bee Hive. Designed to cover a standard 3 level OATH hive, top layer is the honey box mmmmm! This is a species of Australian Stingless Bee, Tetragonula. . . . Reposting @shane.artisan @lego #tetragonulacarbonaria #stinglessbees #sugarbag #sugarbagbees #tetragonula #habitatsculpture #honey #pollination #pollinating #pollinationstation #beehotel #beeart #bee #savethebees #🐝 […]Read more »
Making Homes for Wild Bees Solitary cavity-nesting species such as mason bees are attracted to logs and dead trees, as well as hollow branches such as bamboo or sumac. Elderberry stems also are good because they have a soft pith that’s easily cleaned out. David Green of www.pollinator.com says don’t place elderberry stems out too late in […]Read more »
The following is an excerpt from Keeping Bees and Making Honey by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum (F&W Media, 2008). This spectacular book offers an in-depth profile of nature’s most effective pollinator and covers all aspects of modern beekeeping, including where and when to get your bees, different types of hives, how to harvest and […]Read more »
It’s old news that beekeepers are struggling to provide diverse, pesticide-free forage for their colonies, as scientists have been voicing alarm about the decline in pollinator populations for more than a decade. But part of the solution to help today’s stressed bees may be in your own backyard: Consider the incredible quantity of nectar produced […]Read more »
Colony Collapse Disorder When colony collapse disorder (CCD) hits a colony, the bees literally disappear. You open the hive, and no one is home. No dead bees. No signs of disease. Just nothingness. And its scale is shocking. Some commercial beekeepers have lost thousands of hives in the blink of an eye. The losses have […]Read more »
Experienced beekeepers are keenly aware of which flowers provide bees with nectar, when those flowers are in bloom, and whether the right balance of rain and shine has encouraged them to bloom in abundance. In beekeeping jargon, when there is a bounty of nectar for bees to forage, a honey flow is said to be […]Read more »
Every visit to the bee yard, I learn something new. Either about beekeeping in general or about my particular colonies. In previous years, I have gone four to six weeks without opening a hive. This spring and summer, the longest is two weeks. It is one thing to read about bee behavior and quite another […]Read more »
Ask 10 beekeepers the best way to remove bees from the honey super and you’ll get eleven answers. As with anything else, every beekeeper has their preferred method for accomplishing any task. In this post, I’ll be examining how to remove the bees from the super so the honey can be harvested. Whenever a hive […]Read more »
The first warm, sunny day in early spring when the temperature reaches 45° to 50°F (7° to 10°C) is a great time to pay a visit to your apiary. This first visit of the year involves primarily a quick check of the hives, simply to make sure they are still alive. A trip to see […]Read more »