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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 »
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 »
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 »
My beehive died again this year. The death of this hive marks the third year (and the fourth hive) that I’ve failed to shepherd one through the winter. I have attended multiple beekeeping classes and workshops, a mentoring session, and read several books on beekeeping. I am by no means a novice. For the last […]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 »
Two years ago we added bees to the Chiot’s Run Family. We picked up 10,000 ladies from Dave, a local guy who sells them. He knows what he’s talking about, these were the hives in his front yard. On our way home Mr. Chiot’s looked at me and said, “This has the makings of a horrible nightmare. […]Read more »