I was fortunate to be home when our hive Jupiter swarmed on April 25. I managed to wrestle the bees into a new top bar hive and set them up in my apiary. This weekend was nearly two weeks later, and I was anxious to take a close look to see how they were faring. Continue reading
First swarm of the year. Really, first swarm of my life. To think I started this endeavor just over a year ago, hiving my three hives on April 19, 2015. Now the little buggers (literally!) are going off on their own. I remember when they were just a little nuc box, eager to grow into a full-sized hive. Continue reading
As you can see from the frame covered in capped brood, the bees have been busy. The flowers are slowly appearing in a steady procession of color. Last year I carefully wrote down the bloom dates of many plants around our yard, so this seems a good time to start this up again. I created a new page for this, and have an update on my spring goals as well. Continue reading
Much to my darling wife’s dismay, there is always something to worry about for a first year beekeeper. The latest fear is whether my top bar hive still had live bees inside. It’s been rather cold lately and there has not been a lot of activity in the apiary. My top bar hive has an observation window, and while I try not to peek inside too often, I have not seen any bees in the window since our snowstorm a couple weeks ago. Continue reading
An update on my recent activities, from my trip to Ithaca, New York through our current snow storm. The trip to my parent’s was a great success. My lovely wife and daughter stayed behind so it was just me and the ‘rents – it’s been awhile since that has happened! Building the top bar hives was a bit of a challenge, so I really appreciated having dear old dad to assist. We built two hives based on the plans from my prior post, and had a nice time in and around Ithaca. We even visited local beekeeper Duane Waid and toured his honey processing facility. More on that another time, perhaps.
This week we prepared for the big snow storm currently hitting our area, so I have a short update on this as well. Continue reading
As I mentioned in my last post, one of my near-term goals is to build a new top bar hive. The plan is to travel to my parent’s house this weekend, where my dear father has agreed to help me build the new hive. He has become quite the woodworker in his retirement, building and selling custom furniture throughout the year.
Based on my first year of use, my existing top bar hive Venus has a few drawbacks. In this post I’ll lay out my views on the current hive and how I hope to address these in a new hive. Unless something goes wrong, my next post will present the finished product. Continue reading
Paying attention while working your bees turns out to be somewhat important. This post shares some observations I’ve had around the hives in my first year of beekeeping.
Does 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
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
A quick update on the bees. We did our first inspection yesterday. The bees look good, and saw two of the three queens. The Langstroth boxes didn’t seem so full as to warrant a second box, and the top bar hive was amazing. Here are some pictures. Continue reading