Welcome to the end of beekeeping winter. With March around the corner beekeepers everywhere are thinking about spring and flowers and nectar and bees. It is common practice to worry about weather, flower blooms, hives, and equipment when you are a beekeeper, and I am no exception. Did we prepare for winter well enough to see the bees through this part of the season? Will the flowers bloom soon enough, or should I put some food in the hive? Do I have enough equipment for the year, and is it ready to go?Continue reading
It is snowing today. Between global warming and mountains to our west, we seem to get less and less snow every year. Which is a real shame as I enjoy the white stuff. If it is going to be cold, we may as well have snow. In a prior post I gave a rundown of my top bar hives from 2020, so in this post I share my Langstroth hives.Continue reading
It has become a Christmas tradition to post a bit of holiday poetry at this time of year. I had resolved to skip the tradition this year as I have been rather busy, then I just plain changed my mind a couple days ago and here I am. So allow me to present my latest work, for the sixth year in a row, Silent Hives.Continue reading
It has been forever and a day since I posted something here, so I thought I would share a review my hive performance this year. They are tucked in for winter right now, some hives stronger than others. In this post I will focus on my top bar hives, perhaps prompting me to do another post about my Langstroth hives in the coming weeks.Continue reading
Hello family and friends! I haven’t found my way here in a bit, you would think staying home during a pandemic would give one lots of free time. As a bit of an introvert, I have quite enjoyed working from home and there is always a project to do with bees and a big yard. I was away this weekend to visit my favorite oldest daughter, and find myself with a bit of a free evening. So here are a few photos I have been meaning to share. Continue reading
We humans may be isolating in our homes, but not the bees. They are out and about in Virginia, enjoying the weather, the nectar, the pollen, and generally just trying to expand the population. Yesterday (Friday) one of my hives swarmed not once, but twice.
The saying “may you live in interesting times” is often quoted as an old Chinese curse. It turns out this probably came from the British diplomatic service in the 1930’s rather than China, but it is apt to our situation nonetheless. We live in interesting times. March has been an especially interesting month for me, personally, and of the various stories I could tell I thought an early swarm might be the most interesting.
Well, this post got stuck in my queue and never made it out before Christmas, much to my dismay. I have had a wonderful holiday so far, and even though it is December 26 I thought I would post my annual bee song regardless. I think my first such post in 2015 was still my best; this year I used my darling wife’s favorite as the basis for my poetry.
This is sung to the tune of White Christmas. I tried to write it from the point of view of the bees, sitting in their cluster even as I type. Enjoy.
We’re buzzing for a bright Springtime
Just like the ones we used to know
Where the tree buds glisten
and evenings misting
So nectar and pollen start to flow
We’re buzzing for a bright Springtime
With every wing beat that I form
My our cluster be merry and warm
And may all your colonies go swarm
May you prosper and find honey in 2020. Happy New Year!
I attended our Virginia State Beekeepers Association Fall 2019 meeting at the Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia, held the first Saturday in November. The theme this year was all about queens, as we had two wonderful speakers discuss their research: Heather Matilla and Alison McAfee. Posting this at the end of November seems to bookmark the month rather nicely.
Our weather has been unusually warm this fall. Last weekend we hit 80 F (26 C) and we have yet to experience a frost in our little piece of Virginia. We might see one this weekend, with temperatures expected to drop 30 F this Halloween night.