Tag Archives: beekeeping

Organic Bee Keeping – The Latest Buzz

Bee Book by Ross ConradOrganic Beekeeper, Ross Conrad gave a three hour workshop/talk on ways to be sure one’s hives thrive. The time flew by as he emphasized the need to be sure…

1.) the bees have plenty of honey all year around but especially going into and throughout the winter AND how to rearrange frames to insure it.

2.) the bees are healthy AND how to use natural ways to  support and encourage their well-being.

3.) the bees stay dry with a firmly secured top cover and plenty of ventilation AND ways that have worked best for him.

I’m thoroughly BUZZED to try again with another hive next summer AND looking forward to the Motherhouse.us BeeKeepers Bee on March 22, 2014

installing a package of honey beesI highly recommend Bernie Re’s Global Home blog account of his first years keeping bees (under the wing of Eric Zinke). From describing how they installed a package of bees to catching a swarm to their experiences with a bear, Bernie’s photos and explanations bring a refreshing beginner’s view of keeping honey bees.

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BEEgin Again

Tonight I drove to Granby to pick up a nuc of bees from beekeeper Gilman Mucaj.lighting a bee smokerHere he is lighting his smoker. Notice all the nucs in an electric sheep fence corral right behind him. Gilman recently brought these nucs from his distant beeyard to his backyard to be sold. The fence is to discourage bears.

choosing a honey bee nucWearing a beekeeper’s veil he walks among the BEEzy nucs. He asks if I prefer Italian or Carniolan honey bees. I’ve heard Italian bees tend to be more fragile, so I request the latter. Taking off his veil for better visibility, Gilman tells me the Carniolans are darker colored bees. Finding a likely nuc, he uses his smoker to gently puff smoke into the front opening. Smoke tends to quiet the bees.using hive tool to pry off nuc coverUsing his hive tool, Gilman carefully pries off the nuc cover. (Bees don’t like sudden jarring movements, so it feels like watching a dance in slow motion). He slowly lifts the middle frame and points out many capped and open brood cells, then hands me the frame and checks the others. Satisfied that is a strong and healthy nuc with a good queen, he replaces the frames, picks up the folded wire screen from the ground and firmly fits it into the nuc entrance. He uses my newly purchased loop ratchet strap to secure the cover, and carries the nuc box out of the yard… Gilman's wine grape arborsPast his wine grape arbors…
Honey Bees in the Back Seat…to my car, where he securely seat-belted it into the back seat. You can BEElieve, I was a very careful driver all the way home!

Motherhouse offers a family friendly, BEEginning with Bees workshop as part of their Old Style Life-Skills Series. Visit their weblog reports, here.

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