Happy 2019 from snow-covered Virginia! It’s been a warm winter thus far; this weekend is the first we’ve seen of the white stuff. When the weather is cold, I prefer to have snow.
My 2018 was a busy beekeeping year, much of it not in my apiary. Since I haven’t been so diligent about recording my adventures here, I wanted to summarize the year with my first post of 2019.
My hives Saturn, Mimas, and Atlas this morning on January 13, 2019 after a night of snow. ©Erik Brown
Time once again for our annual Christmas carol. It has not been a very successful year on the blogging front, I helped plan the annual Eastern Apicultural Society conference in Virginia, which took up a bunch of my time. This is my fourth Christmas with this site, and traditions are important, so here we are. Continue reading
I posted an article on LinkedIn recently and wanted to share it here for posterity’s sake. Working in the corporate world, I think about how honey bee colonies might represent well-run corporations. This is one such musing. Enjoy. Continue reading
Spending the afternoon inside today: a good time for a new post. Beeswax is melting on the stove, my darling wife is crafting, and I am sitting in my favorite chair typing on a keyboard. Given that my blog missed much of the beekeeping year, this post summarizes where I ended up in terms of hives.
My hives on October 13, 2018. Lower right is Titan; on the left Saturn, Mimas, and Atlas; and in the back is Pandora, Venus, and Calypso. ©Erik Brown
Apparently I have not posted an update on my bees since April. A rather tough spring and summer, emotionally at least, but here I am again. I thought an update on my mite situation could be interesting, as I have not treated my hives this year. A bit unexpected, hence this post. Continue reading
It seems to be a recurring spring theme. I get busy and stop posting. So here we are in July and I have a desire to catch up. At some point I will have to translate my beekeeping notes into a post for posterity’s sake. In the meantime I will simply post about my efforts to have a more pollinator friendly yard.
I haven’t seen a monarch butterfly in our area for years. This one arrived while I was looking at our first sunflower bloom of the year. Hopefully we will soon have some caterpillars on our milkweed plants (the only food monarch caterpillars eat). ©Erik Brown
When the temperature is high, the bees will gather on the outside of the hive in a practice called bearding. This removes their body heat from the inside and helps cool the hive. Sometimes bees with gather like this before swarming, but in high temperatures this type of behavior is usually bearding.
My top bar hive Saturn on July 1, 2018 at 8 pm in the evening. Temperatures were above 95 F during the day, with a heat index near 110 F. Most of the bees are gathered above the entrance, though many are also hanging below the hive.