Everybody wants to rule the hive

160528i ApiaryMost parents worry about their kids. When my oldest daughter was four I asked my father when you stop worrying about your children. He replied that you never do. It made me pause.

As well, apparently, with a small bee yard. Although perhaps the possibilities are not quite so dire, you still worry. Is the queen well? Will the hive swarm? Do they have enough food? In recent weeks I have worried that four of my now five hives might not have a viable queen. The bees, to their credit, are teaching me patience. Continue reading

You can lead a bee to water

Bee Pond and Hives

Our small water feature for the bees, consisting of a water lily and a few fish. The rug you see here is an old outdoor rug we no longer use that does a great job keeping the weeds down.

Our county ordinance requires that bee hives have water available within 50 feet. While this is good practice, of course, the bees have their own thoughts on the matter. Despite my work to set up a small water pond near our hives, the bees completely ignore it.

To be fair, the neighbor’s pond is bigger and better shaded. I’m sure their water is much better tasting as well.

In addition to discussing our water source, I have an update on our Langstroth hives to share, of the three steps forward, two steps back variety. An update of our top bar hive will appear in a future post. Continue reading

Good Fences Make Good Bees

150607 SawzallA shout out to my blogging buddies The Prospect of Bees for inspiring my recent purchase of a Milwaukee M18 reciprocating saw, shown here surrounded by pieces of fence rails. Prospect’s recent infomercial of a post on the 12-volt version of this saw inspired some research and an eventual purchase. Since this is my first and likely only cordless saw, I settled on the 18-volt version, finding a special online deal from Home Depot that included the complete kit (saw, charger, battery) as well as an extra battery.
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Home is Where the Hive Is

Hive day!

Received an email from Aunt Bea’s earlier this week that they had a hive ready for me. A bit sooner than I was expecting, but took the day off to work on my future apiary, write a little, and pick up my new top bar hive. An apiary is just a fancy word for bee yard. Our yard is L-shaped, with our house at the base line.  My lovely wife agreed to a spot in the side yard where I once had a garden and is now a little overgrown, so I went out early to check it out.

Apiary View on Oct 17, 2014

Future apiary as seen from a nearby cherry tree (10/17/2014 9:00 am)

Early morning sun is recommended for beehive orientation, as is a water source, some protection from the wind and shielding from busy activity. Continue reading