Beekeeping, like any other activity, has its own set of jargon. Words that are unique to the hobby that can be confusing. Some of these words are familiar to the general public, while others are mysteries until explained. Several readers said a dictionary is needed for some of the terms we’ve been using. I get that, […]Read more "Unpacking Bee Jargon"
Yesterday afternoon we inspected the hive after a two and a half week hiatus. As a new beekeeper, that felt like a really long time. I was worried about cross-comb. But people have assured me it’s good to give the bees space. We chose a hot day, the hottest since we’ve had the bees. It […]Read more "A Beetle and a Sting"
Whether you’re measuring a top bar hive in inches and feet, or by the effect it has on your wallet, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. My wife and I set out to build our own hive in anticipation of catching a swarm or splitting our existing colony. We scoured the […]Read more "Height and Width: Building a Top Bar Hive on the Cheap – Part 1"
Bees are unexpectedly affectionate. The featured photo for this post is one of my bees licking sugar water off my finger like a puppy might lap water from a hand. They are gentle by nature, unless of course, you’re trying to take their honey! Maybe it’s our dependence on bees. Perhaps it’s our affinity for honey and other bee products. Or […]Read more "The Bees Have Stolen Our Hearts"
I went to feed the bees this morning. It was early and the morning was cool, so no bees were out. I opened the observation window and watched them working away peacefully. I was peaceful too. There in the quiet. Rising sun on my back. Crisp air. It was really relaxing. And fascinating. I saw the waggle […]Read more "Through the Looking Glass"
Yesterday evening we did our first full inspection in two weeks. We had two main objectives: make the sure the queen was laying eggs and make sure the comb was straight. Though we found a couple of surprises, all in all, we have a very successful report. The bees were collectively in a really good […]Read more "Behold the Brood"
In my last post, I wrote about the different nectar and pollen sources available to our bees. Well, I failed to list the very tree that is currently the bees favorite hangout, the Ilex opaca, or American Holly tree. I hadn’t even noticed the blooms on the tree the day before. Partly because they are […]Read more "Mystery Solved: Holly Tree Pollen"
Our bees have been carrying in large sacs of yellow and orange pollen. I’m not sure what the source of this pollen is, maybe a combination of many different flowers. Interestingly enough, I haven’t seen our bees on any of the blooms on our property (we’re on 5 acres in Southern Indiana), so they may be going […]Read more "Pollen and Nectar Sources"
While we are waiting to do our next full hive inspection, we thought we’d post some photos from our hive assembly. Choosing a beehive is difficult…especially for beginners. But after doing a lot of research, my wife and I decided on a top bar hive (more on that decision here). That was just the beginning […]Read more "Assembling the Hive"
If you’re going to keep bees, then be prepared for robbers and marauders. There are any number of different creatures in nature that want either the shelter of the beehive or the food inside the beehive. Some of them may even want the bees. I’ve already been dealing with three potential issues: ants, wasps, and some kind […]Read more "Robbers and Marauders"