Bee on the level

Top Bar Hive Forages

Foragers coming and going from our top bar hive Venus, with other bees bearding by the front entrances. You can see our Langstroth hive Jupiter in the background.

I have been in and out of the hives this month, and am a bit overdue with this update. With all the rain we’ve had the flowers continue to bloom and I can only hope the forage remains plenty. As soon as the heat settles in, probably right after our frequent rainfall ends, the nectar will likely dry up as well. Continue reading

How doth the little busy bee

TBH Comb

A top bar hive comb near the three entrances to the hive.

With the blooming season moving into summer, our top bar hive continues to crank out bees. Italian bees are known for going full steam ahead, and ours seems to be no different. I checked the hive on June 25 and so thought I would share this update.

Before covering our top bar hive, I’ll begin with some changes to our two langs, and finish with some pictures of wild bees around our yard. Continue reading

Long Live the Queen

We’ve been experiencing the joys and challenges of beekeeping. Overall I am reasonably happy with our progress. For our two Langstroth hives, one is booming and one has a new queen. The top bar hive continues to perplex me, though it seems to be doing well. Read on for the recent hive report.

May 23 Hives

The hives on May 23, showing how we added a third box onto one hive (Mars) and reduced the middle hive (Jupiter) down to a single deep.

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That Which We Call a Hive

150517 HivesDoes naming something give us power over it? Fantasy books will often incorporate this idea as a key aspect of their world, from A Wizard of Earthsea to Eragon. I admit to being a long-time fan of the genre. In such books, knowing the true name of an object allows control over it.

I’m not sure if this is true with beehives, but names provide a measure of familiarity and comfort. We finished naming our hives this past week, so I thought a blog post was in order. Continue reading

It’s the Bees Time of the Year

The hive we've named "Jupiter" built a small tunnel at the top of their box.

The hive we’ve named “Jupiter” built a small tunnel at the top of their box.

My car windshield is covered in pollen each morning, so I think the bees must be happy. They’ve been building up their hives, and I watch the workers fly in and out of their entrance at a steady pace most days. I have been inspecting them each weekend, so here is a brief update. Continue reading