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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 »
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 »
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 »
When temperatures rise to miserable or dangerous levels, your bees may be at risk. Much of the country is suffering higher than normal temperatures this week, but some beekeepers are also suffering colony losses. Most of the time, bees are best able to control the temperature inside the hive themselves, but when thermostats rise above […]Read more »
Welcome to summer and all it entails: barbecues, hiking, evening walks—and bee stings and bug bites. Take heart: You don’t have to spend the entire season scratching. Many of the best anti-itch remedies are as close as your backyard, kitchen or local health-food store. No single remedy will work for everyone, so experiment to see […]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 »
Colony Collapse Disorder When colony collapse disorder (CCD) hits a colony, the bees literally disappear. You open the hive, and no one is home. No dead bees. No signs of disease. Just nothingness. And its scale is shocking. Some commercial beekeepers have lost thousands of hives in the blink of an eye. The losses have […]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 »
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 »