• learning,  neat tricks

    teeny tiny hive

    Here you see the hands of Ken, adjusting the frames of his little model beehive. The wee box is resting on the much larger, normal-sized beehive. Ken is going to leave the small box on the larger box – there’s an opening in the bottom so the bees can come up into it – so the bees will draw out the honeycomb a bit. He doesn’t want them to store honey in the little demo hive, but he does want them to show what they can do in building up the wax in preparation for honey storage. He brings this hive to places where he talks about bees, so people…

  • learning


    A few weeks ago, I noticed that the bees in my observation hive had all died. This is not surprising, due to the fact that there are not that many of them and they are not able to huddle in a large enough mass to actually survive the winter. That’s what my regular sized bee colonies are doing right now – huddling together in the middle of the hive to stay warm; and, most importantly, keep the queen warm. She’s the one who will kick off the growth of the colony in the spring with her egg-laying, so it is vitally important to the colony to keep her alive. But…

  • honey,  learning

    gone in a day

    . I sold a container of honeycomb to a friend a few weeks ago, and today she told me “It was gone in a day”. What a compliment! Comments like these make me want to expand my operation by about 4x.  It’s a big decision, though, because it takes time and energy. And I’m still learning. Some days I want to give up the idea of selling honey and keep it all for myself – yes, I’m greedy that way – and some days I want to get a few more hives so I have more to sell to all the people who want to buy more when they finish…

  • learning

    workshop review

    . I was pleasantly surprised to discover recently that one of the people who attended my intro to honeybees and beekeeping workshops wrote a little review on her blog! Thanks Bianca! Inspired Wonder‘s honeybee workshop review. These workshops were geared toward families, so they were not highly technical nor were they designed to tell you everything you need to know to be a beekeeper. I’m more about raising awareness of honeybees and hoping to share the love. I also want people to know the difference between a bee and a wasp. When someone tells me they were harassed or stung by a bee I always ask, ‘was it a bee or…

  • learning

    fire power

    . After Thursday’s fiasco, I wanted to make sure I could light a good fire in my smoker no matter what. So – I borrowed a fire tool from my hubby. Propane torch, complete with sparker. No need for matches, even…. very nice piece of equipment. It did a great job of lighting my smoker – look at that smoke: These pictures are from yesterday, when I went to get the honey supers. I have two mostly-full supers now sitting in my kitchen waiting for me to harvest the honey from them. One will need to be harvested like the first time, and the other, I think I will actually…

  • bees,  learning,  neat tricks,  ob hive


    .Today I’ll be taking my observation hive to my daughter’s class! Should be fun. I took a sweet photo last night while checking them out (above). It was late and dark, and the hive was backlit by my back door light. Why late and dark? Because everybody’s home then. I need to lock them all in for safely transporting and showing the kiddies in the class. If I had waited until this afternoon, a lot of the bees would be out foraging (provided it’s not pouring down rain like it is right now) and they would be very confused upon returning home to where their house once was. Grade 2…

  • learning,  preparation,  supplies

    s is for sarah

    .I took a little trip to Better Bee Supplies today, to pick up some frames for my honey supers and some gloves. Gloves were not something I really wanted to work with; it’s great to have the sensation in your fingertips and be able to ‘pet the bees’ with your bare hands. However, my allergist tells me I have a Colophony allergy, which is basically an allergy to coniferous trees and products made from them. This is an issue because the propolis – the super sticky gummy glue that the bees make and use to seal and weatherproof their hive – is made using things like pine or spruce sap.…

  • bees,  learning

    cleaning house

    .Here’s another reason why I thought the blue hive was dead: no dead bees on the outside. Bees are such tidy insects – they’ll haul out their dead so the hive is kept clean. No dead bees on the outside made me think they were all dead on the inside! Not the case, though, as I mentioned in a previous post. They’re all happily working away at building their colonies, and in a month or two they should be up to about 50,000 bees or more in each hive..

  • bees,  beeyard,  learning,  preparation

    it’s a wrap

    Sort of ready for winter, here – not sure if I did this right, but November is 2 days away and I thought I better at least provide some cold protection for the bees. I want to add some straw bales for added protection, too. I’m thinking the tar paper should cover the bottom a bit more – but I didn’t want to block the entrance…. Definitely still learning. A lot..