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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 »
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 »
I’ve found that herb gardeners are rarely solitary folks absorbed in pursuing perfect plants. When working in the garden, they often trail a friend or neighbor, sharing volumes of knowledge. They’ll pluck sprigs with abandon, encouraging visitors to “sniff this—taste that—please take this one home. My seeds came up so well this year, I’ve got […]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 »
Tired of buying compressed smoker fuel, I looked for alternative fuels that would work better and were available around me. I have already used pine needles but after some research found oodles of natural materials ripe for the picking in my backyard. The variety of materials that you can use is only limited by your […]Read more »
Honeybees work. They work all spring and summer to store up enough pollen and honey for their colony to survive the winter. However, sometimes, their best efforts are not enough and they can end up starving to death if their supplies run out. As you have read, in the early spring and late fall when […]Read more »
While many plants are known to be bee magnets, honeybees and bumblebees will pass them all by when germander blooms. An herb garden is traditionally a busy place, with bees buzzing from plant to plant, their fuzzy little bodies perfect for trapping pollen and transporting it to the next flower. But declining bee populations means […]Read more »
Why the smoker? A necessity for preventing bee stings, even more than wearing your trusty bee suit, the smoker disrupts the bees’ normal cascade of defense when they perceive a threat. Smoked bees will flee from the source of smoke (you!) rather than advance in a defensive reaction.The result is less flight and stinging behavior. […]Read more »
Winter survival of honeybees is one of my most frequently asked questions from people curious about bees. With the extreme cold temperatures hitting most of the East Coast, this topic has come up again and again. A healthy full-size colony, with an adequate supply of honey, and a strong healthy queen, can survive extreme temperatures. […]Read more »
There are generally two ways in which you can raise Mason Bees. You can go at it with a hands-off approach and let nature take its course or you can take some quick and easy additional steps to ensure a healthier Mason Bee population. Any help really that you’re willing to provide will be appreciated […]Read more »