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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.
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 »
Congregating bees on the front of the hive is called bearding and new beekeepers often panic at the sight. Reacting to conditions within the hive, bees can mound themselves up in layers or form a single layer on a large area of the front of the hive. Smoking them back into the hive, squirting […]Read more »
Many pollinator species have suffered serious declines in recent years. Unfortunately, most of our landscapes offer little in the way of appropriate habitat, forage, and housing. Even the most beautiful gardens are not always healthy ecosystems. Design choices, plant selections, and maintenance practices can make a huge difference in creating your own healthy ecosystem, filled […]Read more »
Practicing beekeeping for over 20 years, I have seen the precipitous decline in bee populations. I just lost all three of my beehives this past year, more than at any time in my beekeeping career. Yes, I can replace them, but it is costly at about $180 for each mini beehive nuc. At that point, […]Read more »
Beehive art is becoming more and more popular in the bee yard. Painting hive bodies a boring white was the norm when I started beekeeping 20 years ago. Fast forward to the present and everyone is trying to outdo themselves with wild and beautiful designs decorating the bee yard. Art and beekeeping?. Great combination […]Read more »
I am experimenting with different varieties of handmade soap and I love orange flavor, and recently made some citrus soap bars. They turned out great, so wanted to share this variation using the base of gentle olive oil soap with beeswax. I call it Beeswax Citrus Soap. Beeswax softens and protects skin from environmental elements and is […]Read more »
Custom Condo Attracting bees with the right plants is important, but what about inviting them to make a home nearby with attractive ready-to-move-in housing? A custom condo became my project in the winter for solitary mason bees and other native bees of all kinds who come knocking on my door for a place to lay […]Read more »