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
Beekeeping is simple, but we insist on making it complicated
Winter is a time for reading in beekeeping. I recently finish Simple, Smart Beekeeping by husband and wife team Kirsten Shoshanna Traynor (Author) and Michael Joseph Traynor (Contributor). I purchased the book at the VSBA Fall meeting, where Dr. Traynor and Michael spoke twice: once on the topic of pesticides, and again on beekeeping in Germany. Both were quite interesting so I supported their efforts by buying their book. The cost is a bit steep: $34.95 right now on Amazon; the meeting price was $25. Continue reading
The Queen Must Die
We had a warm day yesterday, partly sunny and 64 F. The bees went crazy, flying circles around the yard and coming to and fro in the entrances. Hauling out corpses, relieving waste, and generally getting their bee houses in order. I looked in the observation window of the top bar hive, which has shown only comb for a good month or so, and bees were everywhere. There were definitely clustering away from the window, as I mentioned in a prior post.
In the meantime, I finished up my winter reading, and thought I would share a summary of this rather interesting book. Continue reading
A house without books is like a hive without bees
The weather swings to and fro. Spring is not quite in the air, though the birds are singing about it. I’ve been meaning to share some of the books I’ve read lately, at least the ones related to beekeeping. In the past few months I’ve read The Quest for the Perfect Hive, The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver, and The Thinking Beekeeper.
Bees With A Smile
I recently finished Fedor Lazutin’s book Keeping Bees With A Smile. It is a rather fascinating read about keeping bees naturally in the depths of Russia, where the winters really are six months long. I have to thank the Happy Hour at the Top Bar blog for recommending the book. I really enjoyed the different perspective on beekeeping and discussion of a hive style I was not at all familiar with. Continue reading
Bee school is finished and the bees are coming. I’ve been trying to read yet another bee book, but my mind wanders to thoughts of actually having bees. My apiary is not quite ready, but with some upcoming days to work on it all should be well.
All Dressed Up and No Place to Bee
Well, the good news is that I have managed to purchase the hives, equipment, and clothing I believe is needed to have bees in the spring. The bad news is that it is February in Virginia, with snow on the ground and cold in the air. So the best I can do is take some pictures and keep reading and learning. Here is a picture of me dressed for the bees in my new bee jacket. I was planning to purchase a full-body suit, but am told I would roast in the full heat of summer around here. So a jacket it is.
This past week in bee school we learned about bee diseases and pests, from the tiny viruses to the dreaded mites and the much larger skunks and bears. Continue reading
To Bee or Not To Bee
I finished reading Thomas D. Seeley’s excellent book Honeybee Democracy this past week, and it has me thinking about bee colonies as superorganisms. The idea is that a specialized colony of animals such as termites, coral, or bees behaves as a single organism, and can be treated as such. This had me wondering how a bee colony compares to our own special type of organism, the human body, which in turn led to this post.
Bee Careful What You Wish For
Happy New Year! Since I last caught up on Bees with Eeb, I have done great things! Well, not great things, but I ordered a package of Italians for my top bar hive, reviewed many options for spring and finished a few books on beekeeping. With the days growing longer, if not warmer, I’m looking forward to my bee class in roughly two weeks. So I thought my first post of the year should be to summarize my status and recent reading. Continue reading
The Hive Mind
I have been thinking about hives. While I am still keen to have a top bar hive, existing beekeepers keep telling me that I should start with Langstroth hives before trying top bars. So after some angst, I decided to seek some solace and advice in books and online. Continue reading