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I have 3 very active hives this season-one is an overwintered one, and two are brand new NUCs which are thriving. Set in the midst of a flowering meadow on my two acres, my hives are taken care of without any chemicals and I leave them alone as much as I can to do their own thing.
Claire has been an organic beekeeper for over 20 years and a gardener and lover of nature all of her life. She owns her own business, Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC, and creates gardens of all kinds, using pollinator friendly and native plants in her designs. Mentoring and guiding new beekeepers, blogging at TheGardenDiaries, photographing and painting bees and flowers, and keeping up with her two active dogs, keeps her busy with the activities that she loves best.
Why Join a Beekeeping Club? Many new beekeepers and prospective beekeepers are urged to join beekeeper clubs and organizations to learn more about the art of beekeeping. Even experienced beekeepers find themselves with questions and want to connect with other beekeepers in the area. Locally, your state’s Beekeeper Association is one of the best resources […]Read more »
The importance of bumblebees can’t be overstated as pollinators for agriculture both in the field and in greenhouses. Unlike honey bees, they are able to forage under cold, rainy, and cloudy conditions, so it is possible to see them in all kinds of weather. Even in an early cold morning, you can see a bumblebee […]Read more »
One of the most important decisions that a beekeeper who wants to sell their honey harvest is what to place on their honey label. Appealing to a consumer and stand out from other honey products, the label needs to capture someones attention. Plus, there is limited space to convey your honey benefits to a consumer. […]Read more »
What does a beekeeper do in February? Renovate your equipment!! Thinking of my beehives bursting with loads of bees and honey puts me in the mood to go through and inspect all my honeybee equipment and replace and/or renovate. I want to have all my equipment ready to go at a moment’s notice when the […]Read more »
Ummmm…..that’s sooo good! I hear that phrase over and over when someone tastes my home-grown honey for the first time. Their face lights up and a look of delight transforms them when they dip their fingers into the sticky sunshine. Most people are used to the purchased plastic bear of generic clover honey (sometimes adulterated) […]Read more »
Sunny yellow blooms fringed with a green ruff green poking through snow is my first sign that spring has sprung. Eranthis hyamalis, in the buttercup family, is a spring ephemeral, which means that it is a short-lived plant above ground with a burst of blooms, and disappears, remaining under ground until next winter. Beaming a […]Read more »
Winter is the time that I make use of all my beeswax that I have collected from the hives in the summer. I have melted and cleaned it right after harvesting in August and it is ready to be made into something creative and useful. To see how I clean the raw beeswax, go to […]Read more »
Nectar dearth is a phrase that you hear frequently in beekeeping. Simply put, it means that instead of your honeybees finding readily available nectar and pollen-producing flowers, they are chowing down on their stored honey. And bees need honey stores to survive my cold winters here in the mid-Atlantic. Supplemental feeding is the option that […]Read more »
Extracting honey every August for twenty years has honed my honey house preparations. Kind of like painting….. the prep takes longer than the actual work. I never extract in the house as it will bring stray bees in along with the frames. I have a potting shed adjacent to my bee yard which I have […]Read more »
Beekeeping Revolution Beekeeping, especially urban beekeeping, is picking up steam and buzz! When I first attended my “Beekeeping Basics” class put on by the local beekeepers club twenty years ago, older men in coveralls dominated and the joke was that the average age of a beekeeper was “from 57 to dead”. As a younger woman […]Read more »