• 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…

  • 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…

  • bees,  beeyard,  neat tricks

    playing juliet

    .So here you can see the hive I fretted and worried over, thinking it was dead. Busy as can be! I’m so happy to have two good hives. Next trip out will be for cleaning, this one was just to check on them, take off the tar paper and move the straw bales out of their way..

  • bees,  beeyard,  honey,  learning,  neat tricks,  preparation

    lowering heating costs

    On Saturday the 3rd, I went to the beeyard to feed one of my hives sugar syrup. They hadn’t filled out the frames as well as they could have, and it’s important for winter survival that they are full to maximum capacity. So, despite not wanting refined sugar in my life anymore, back in it came. In the top picture you see the hive with a honey super on top – I had to leave a space for the ziplock bag of sugar syrup between the frames and the lid. After Ken’s comment on a previous post, I thought I better follow his recommendations, so I built myself a rim.…

  • bees,  beeyard,  learning,  neat tricks,  stings


    It’s been quite a few years since pennies held any fascination for me, but beekeeping has brought them once again to a significant place in my life. My first sting as an adult was in Ken’s beeyard, and right away Steven put a penny on it for me. No swelling or pain. Weird! But wonderful. I started telling everyone who had the potential to be stung by a bee, that they should put a penny on it because it really works. My second bee sting, same story. Penny to the rescue yet again. Along the way, people questioned what it was about the pennies that gave them these magical bee-sting-soothing…

  • bees,  learning,  little city farm,  neat tricks

    guest pic

    This picture comes to you courtesy of Todd, a fellow newbie to the world of beekeeping. He and I, along with a few others, met at Little City Farm when we attended a small workshop on beekeeping. Those few of us that went on to take a more in-depth course at the Townsend House, University of Guelph, keep in touch on a semi-regular basis. We thought it might reduce the collective number of painful mistakes, if we could share our newbie experiences with the group of us. Still, we’ve all had our own ‘learning moments’, and it’s been good to grow together in this endeavor. Anyway, back to the pic…

  • beeyard,  learning,  neat tricks

    grass killer

    Thanks to my wonderful sister for carpet! It’s a good way to keep the thigh-high grass from crowding the hives. Yet another trick I learned from Ken. There’s so much value in learning from someone who has many years of experience! I’m very grateful to have accidentally stumbled upon this family during my research days. I’ve learned something from each member. Even Jill, who gives good (usually) directions..

  • bees,  learning,  neat tricks,  supplies

    screening visitors

    Here is a pic of my screen bottom board. Normally it’s under the brood chamber and I only see the front entrance part of it, but it’s on display here because we were cleaning the bottom board. (And by ‘we’ I mean Ken.) The screen bottom board is there to enhance the health of the hive. Mainly as protection against varroa mite, which can be incredibly damaging to a colony of bees. The screen mesh is wide enough to allow the varroa mite to fall through, but narrow enough to keep the bees away from them. Varroa mites will wait there on the bottom board for a bee to come…

  • bees,  beeyard,  neat tricks,  swarm

    swarm capture

    Today turned out to be pretty exciting after all. Around 10:30 I received a phone call from Michelle, Ken’s wife, asking if I wanted to come help capture a swarm. I would say I didn’t do much ‘helping’ – but it was amazing to be there. Here you see Steven sizing up the situation. He’s considering his options for capture. He’s placed a hive box under the swarm on the ground, and now the options for getting them into the box are being pondered. It didn’t take long – I had the camera ready to show the process, but by the time I took the picture it was over: He…

  • bees,  beeyard,  learning,  neat tricks


    Somebody got stung on Monday when we were out inspecting the bees. The bee had crawled up her sleeve and found it a bit too claustrophobic and threatening, so she ended up with a sting. No big deal, that’s what the pennies in my pocket are for..