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From Iron Oak Farm.
I have allergies…let…me…tell…you…do I have allergies. Indoor, outdoor, seasonal…everything makes my sinuses upset. When I was a kid I did the whole allergy shot ritual, which seemed to do absolutely nothing except make me afraid of needles. I lived at our ENT specialist, tried every allergy medicine, nose spray, antihistamine there is and after all […]Read more »
Every Time I’ve ever heard anything about American Foulbrood I’ve always heard that the disease comes with an odor. And while this is correct, often, by the time you can detect an odor, the disease has advanced.
There are other ways of telling if you might have American Foulbrood in your hive.Read more »
Sometimes it feels like you need to be a lawyer or a chemist to really understand what you’re buying from the grocery store. Wouldn’t it be nice if food was just food and we could read a label and take it at face value? Unfortunately, that is not the case. In recent years, many companies […]Read more »
Uncapping our honey harvest is probably the most satisfying job on our farm. Watching that luxurious curl of wax that slices off the frame and rolls away revealing the smooth golden honey is one of life’s great pleasures. There are several ways to uncap your honey frame. Whichever you choose, the end goal is to […]Read more »
It’s amazing the way a beehive can have a personality. While the colony is made up of thousands of individual bees, it is the overall collective demeanor of the group that makes it as if you are working with a single organism. If you have an overly-aggressive hive you can change the behavior of your […]Read more »
The governor of Michigan just declared a State of Emergency for our state due to record-breaking low temperatures. As I write this post (January 2019), it’s currently -6 degrees F with a wind chill of -30. So worrying if our hive is overheated is really not a concern right now…quite the opposite. However, coming this […]Read more »
When my husband first showed interest in beekeeping, one of my biggest fears is that we would accidentally end up with a “Killer Bee” colony. I had heard rumors of Killer Bee colonies coming up from states like Florida to the north. Images of bee swarms chasing us in angry pursuit and thousands of deadly […]Read more »
Every honey harvest is exciting, but our first is something I won’t likely forget! We’d been waiting and tending to our bees for almost two years… hoping, wondering and (frankly) worrying. But that first taste of golden nectar made it all worth it. Since our first harvest quite a few years ago, we’ve somewhat streamlined […]Read more »
Let me tell you, if you’re not cooking with cast iron you’re missing out! For years I was intrigued by cast iron but the care and seasoning process intimidated me. It seemed strange and unsanitary that you didn’t use soap to clean it. It also seemed like a pain in the neck to have to […]Read more »
We all know that beeswax makes great candles, but did you know that it has many household uses? This is especially true in the movement away from commercially-made cosmetics and cleaning products. Beeswax can be a useful ingredient to have around the home. What is beeswax? Beeswax is created in eight wax-producing glands on a […]Read more »
It’s candle season! Time to fill our homes with the scents of everything pumpkin spice, cinnamon stick, and caramel apple cider. But before you light those wicks it’s important to know what’s in your candle. Candles used to be an essential part of everyday life. Especially in the long nights of winter, candles and oil […]Read more »
The garden is starting to dwindle. The other morning I woke as the sun was coming up and, I couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked as though we had a bit of frost on the north side of the lawn. The tomato plants are turning black and there are dots of gold and red […]Read more »
Before we work with a new package of bees, we spray them with a 1:1 ratio of water and dissolved sugar. Spraying helps calm the bees and allows you to more easily maneuver them into the hive. It’s not a good idea to use a smoker with a new package because you want to encourage […]Read more »
When my husband told me he wanted to keep bees I was NOT on board with the idea. When I was 11 years old my dad was stung by a bald face hornet, had a terrible reaction, and went into cardiac arrest. He made it through, but it was one of the most terrifying experiences […]Read more »