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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 »
Once again, I find myself gloriously behind the times. In this particular case a few thousand years behind the times: I built and maintain a wall beehive—a colony housed in the wall of my bedroom. I have been calling it my Observation Hive because it has a plexiglas cover on the inside wall, but my […]Read more »
If you live in an area with the invasive Argentine ants, chances are you have issues with them getting into your hives. These non-native pests have colonized most of California and the southern parts of the U.S. Their massive super-colonies make them difficult to control, especially in the bee yard. These ants can easily overwhelm […]Read more »
Whenever we get a new package of bees, before we begin working with them, we spray them with a 1:1 ratio of water and dissolved sugar. This calms the bees and allows you to maneuver them into the hive while keeping them docile. It’s not a good idea to use a smoker with a […]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 »
The smoker makes the beekeeper’s relationship with honey bees much, much more civil. Without the smoker, beekeepers would suffer many more stings during a hive inspection. More stings equate to more bee deaths so all around, the smoker is a good thing. What is a smoker? A smoker is a tool used by beekeepers […]Read more »
As many beekeepers know, the uses of having a beehive on your farm are plentiful. Honey has numerous health benefits, in addition to being a delicious natural sweetener. The wax can be used for a countless number of things around the home, including candles and beauty products. My partner and I decided to become beekeepers […]Read more »
In recent years, the role of wildflowers in feeding honeybees has been widely misunderstood. Yes, wildflowers are a precious resource. Yes, there are not nearly enough of them. But no, they are not going to save the day. No matter how many packets of bee-friendly wildflower seeds are nobly given out and scattered, they are […]Read more »