- Get Our Free Newsletter!
- For more than 130 years, Grit magazine has helped its readers live more prosperously and happily all the while emphasizing the importance of community and a rural lifestyle tradition.
- Subscribe today!
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.
Nourish skin with a combination of beeswax and various body butters rich in fatty acids in this homemade Solid Lotion Bar recipe. Modern beekeepers commonly wonder what to do with all the beeswax their hives produce. Thankfully, the possibilities are endless, from holistic and decorative uses to various homemade health and beauty products. Learn how […]Read more »
Visiting more than 2 million flowers to produce a single pound of honey, bees are some of the hardest workers on our planet—and quite possibly nature’s best cosmetologists. These wondrous winged creatures pollinate about one-sixth of the world’s flowering plant species and about 400 agricultural plants, and from their hard work springs forth a plethora […]Read more »
Want to attract mason bees to your orchard or garden? Provide bee boxes where they can lay eggs. Particularly useful in orchards, mason bees (also called blue orchard bees) can visit hundreds of flowers per day. They don’t make honey, but they collect pollen for nest holes where they lay eggs, and then plug the […]Read more »
Types of Bees for Backyard Honey If you’re like me, when it comes to adding livestock – or any animal for that matter – to your home, you relish the research. It’s fun to flip through literature and find the breed, species, or whatever the subspecies (also called ecotypes) may be called that jumps out […]Read more »
The Polar Vortex landed a blow to the Mid-West where Five Feline Farm is located. Many of the beekeepers in this area report a significant loss of colonies over the harsh winter. One beekeeper described opening a hive to find bees appearing frozen in place. The entire colony dead. Our losses are not confirmed at […]Read more »
Bees are one of the most important insects to us. Not only are they great garden pollinators, they maintain biological balance and recycle soil nutrients. Learn all about bees — from their appearance to the many unknown North American Species in Bees, Wasps, and Ants (Timber Press, 2010) by Eric Grissell. The following excerpt was taken from […]Read more »
Honey is as sensational as it is sweet, but if you thought that honey-making was the only work occupying bees inside that hive, think again. A mind-boggling array of insect activities is creating amazing honeybee products right under our noses. And our noses themselves even benefit, since some of these products can be used to treat allergies […]Read more »
I’ve found that herb gardeners are rarely solitary folks absorbed in pursuing perfect plants. When working in the garden, they often trail a friend or neighbor, sharing volumes of knowledge. They’ll pluck sprigs with abandon, encouraging visitors to “sniff this—taste that—please take this one home. My seeds came up so well this year, I’ve got […]Read more »
If you’ve been dreaming about getting started in beekeeping for awhile, and want to make a go of it this year, now is the time to get started. It’s easy to place an order for bees from your local beekeeping supplier, but March is the last month to do it. There are so many great […]Read more »
Sometimes it is necessary to feed honeybees through the winter which can be accomplished by several methods. That is the position we find ourselves in here on Five Feline Farm after two colonies have struggled through the fall with apparent robber bees. A colony of honey bees needs 30 to 60 pounds of honey stored […]Read more »