Monday, December 28, 2009

New Laws Regarding Honey and Labels for 2010

With the influx of impure/diluted honey imported into the US, primarily from China,(although it can come by way of Mexico, to disguise its origin), the state of California has reacted with some new legislation which is good news for local honey producers.

All of HomeGrown Bees honey is processed by hand, filtered only once to screen out wax and other comb debris. No heat filtration, no flavor additives, no colors, no heat processing--- just raw, pure honey right out of the hive.

Mass-produced and adulterated honey can be made more cheaply, potentially ending up as the honey you buy at some of the "big box" stores where bargain pricing is the primary draw. With this new law, that honey will not be able to carry a "honey" label, but will instead be "honeydew honey" (see below) or something else. Here's a summary of the rule:

Food and Agricultural Code Section 29413(1) was amended to establish a new definition of honey and set new labeling standards for honey products. In the process, a new crime was created for violating the standards.

According to an article by atty James Spenser in "Central Coast Farm and Ranch" magazine, "honey" is now limited to substances produced by honeybees, and excludes products containing food additives or coloring. A precise chemical composition of honey is described, procedures to influence crystallization are prohibited, and distinctions are made between blossom honey, nectar honey and honeydew honey. The latter term now refers to substances generated by plant-sucking insects other than honeybees. As of Jan 1, all forms of honey products and labels must meet the new standards.

Now it will be easy for people (in California, at least) to tell if they're getting real, honest-to-goodness honey.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pre-Winter Check: Everything Looking Good

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in SoCal, as today's temps hit the low 70's or so... just as I'm reading that New York is getting 15 inches of snow.

Anyway, I took advantage of the beautiful day to open up a few of the hives I haven't seen in awhile. Specifically, I was looking for food stores--- have they socked enough in to survive a prolonged El Nino (predicted, which usually means tons of rain in Jan/Feb)?

I particularly wanted to check the two feral hives I got this year--- the one from the garage cut-out, and the swarm pictured behind the title of this blog. I'm glad to say both are doing great; lots of bees and lots of food stores. The garage hive was typically docile and cooperative. the swarm hive was just the opposite; they were not appreciative at all of my intrusion. Nonetheless I gave both hives a pretty good inspection, and they've got small amounts of brood (to be expected at this time of year) and lots of capped honey.

I meant to get pix of the natural comb the garage hive has appended to the bottom of the frames in their hive. When I hived them, I did it on "medium" frames, and they're in a large hive body. So, they feel compelled to fill the space with comb, and they have. I'll get some photos next time.

I also checked out the hive of Carniolans that were mite-infested, to see how their population was holding up. Again, it looks good. The only caveat to that is there's very little brood that I could see, although it was impossible to get a good look through the carpet of bees on the frames. Just the fact that the population is strong has me hopeful that we'll get through the winter, and in the spring I'll probably split the hive to break the brood cycle and mitigate mite impact.

one additional note: All the hives I looked at had some beautiful, capped, dark honey--- no doubt from the local eucalyptus blooms. I've noticed a few more of the local eucs are getting ready to bloom, so I'm hoping that in early Feb I can pull some frames from all the hives and harvest some dark, delicious eucalyptus honey, just before the March/April sage bloom hits.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cold and Rain... at Last!

Winter finally came to Southern Cal in the form of a week of below-freezing temps at night and then a week of good, soaking rains. Naturally, most of the time the bees all stayed home in their cluster (they need to keep the core of the cluster, where the brood is, at 95 degrees at all times, so they "shiver" in a big mound of 60,000 bees or so to make that happen). I was anxious to see how they'd fared.

Today the sun came out and the temps got into the mid-60's, and the good news is that all hives were active. Aside from foraging flights they also take "cleansing flights"--- they don't poop in their hive, so they have to hold it 'til they get a chance to fly. So even the non-foragers take a loop or two around the outside of the hive, just to relieve themselves.

I took the opportunity to retrieve the second packet of Apiguard I'd put in the one Varroa-infested hive. They didn't do a very good job of emptying the this packet, so I have no idea how effective the treatment actually was. I replaced the frames I'd removed to make space for the packet; next week I'll slip a sticky board under them and get a mite count.

This is the exact time of year I lost a hive to mites in 2008, so I'm being extra careful. I want to keep all the hives strong, because with these rains we should have a good eucalyptus bloom this winter (great honey!) and a very robust sage bloom in the spring, along with other chaparral bee-favorites like holly-leaf cherry. Last year the holly-leaf cherry never bloomed; it was just too damn dry.

Within the next month or so I'm going to try to find a neighboring ranch that will allow me to place 4 hives or so on their property. With eight hives on my ranch I think I'm overwhelming the area; I need to spread out a bit. My goal for 2010 is to get 12 hives producing 20-30 lbs of honey each, which would give me 40-60 8oz jars per hive; a reasonable number to sell at the local small farmer's market.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Return of the Varroa Mites

I did a mite count on most of my hives a couple weeks ago, and all were in reasonable shape except for one Carniolan (breed of honeybee) hive which had a mite count of 81 in 3 days!

So, I pulled 3 frames from the medium hive body (the top one) and stored them, placing the Apiguard packet over the brood next on the bottom deep hive body. I did that two weeks ago; per instructions I removed that packet and replaced with a new one today. If you want more details on Apiguard treatment, here's the video again.

Nearly all the bees spend their day working a single blooming eucalyptus tree right now. It's quite an amazing sight (and sound); thousands of bees humming along in this tree that sits right off our deck. Adding to the activity are usually a half-dozen hummingbirds, so it's a happenin' place!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Relocation of "Log Hive" Failed

Well, bummer... I noticed a dearth of activity in front of this hive, (see video below) so I opened it up. Found a bunch of dead bees on the bottom board, right near the entrance--- which indicates a fight to the death for the hive. I pulled the comb, and yellow-jackets were all over it, including a bunch of dead ones.

This hive probably absconded in the face of an overwhelming attack by yellow-jackets. I had placed a YJ trap near the hive and caught a bunch about a week ago, but I must have been too late. Damn.

I pulled the hive apart, cleaned it and stored it. I kept the comb (it had been robbed of pretty much all the honey) to use as bait in "swarm traps" next year. Swarm traps are simply empty hives with some comb in them, and a drop or two of lemongrass oil to attract the scout bees during swarm season. The idea is to tempt a swarm into setting up home in your hive, saving you the effort of actually catching 'em!

Learned some good lessons about preventing robbing frenzies and yj raids in the future.

1. When removing comb from the original hive, vacuum off the bees and place in a covered container.

2. Once the bulk of bees are vacuumed, take the comb and frames somewhere protected and band the comb into the frames. I did this in the open, right next to other hives, and the robbing was ridiculous.

3. Then, put the frames into the box and immediately dump the vacuumed bees into the box. then, close it up and put an entrance reducer in place (or temporarily close the entrance altogether, which might be an even better idea).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Here's Video of the Log Hive Relocation

Sean Arenas, my fearless videographer, did a great job of editing down a bunch of footage of my forced eviction of a beehive from its tree limb home, and relocation into a regular Langstroth hive body.

As I write this it's three weeks later, and the hive seems to have settled in. This Saturday (today's Wed) I plan to open 'em up and see how they're doing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lost the Little Hive; Log Hive Under Attack; More...

That little bunch of bees I got from the compost bin (see below)? They're gone. Driven away either by ants (they went after the sugar water I fed them) or maybe yellow jackets... maybe even other bees, I don't know. They just up and split.

Meanwhile, that hive I pulled out of the log has been under attack by yellow jackets, and they are pissed! I tried taking a look at the front entrance, and they were after me like a squadron of fighter jets, head-butting my veil and just generally calling me out. Fortunately I was completely suited up.

There was a lot of honey in that hive, so it's generating a lot of interest from yj's, other bees, and presumably ants soon. I've gotta stick the stand legs in tin pans filled with oil sometime soon, to stop the inevitable ant invasion.

On a more positive note we got some rain this week, and there's some eucalyptus blooming, among some other wild flowers. So, just for the heck of it I supered four of my hives that already had good food stores, and we'll see if I can get some eucalyptus honey this winter. Very dark, rich honey.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Removing a Hive From Inside a Tree Limb

Remember that hive I got from the guy who lopped a limb off his tree, only to find a thriving colony inside? (See below)

Well, Saturday I decided it was time to "evict" (Sean, my videographer's word) this hive and relocate them into a conventional hive box. They were perfectly happy in the limb, but they weren't gonna do me any good in there.

Now, Sean shot a lot of video on this, and I'll post that as soon as he's got it edited and uploaded. But the basics steps were this:

1. Prepare the new hive box and position it next to the log.
2. Slice and dice the log with a chain saw, taking care to guide the blade through wood, and pulling back whenever I felt the blade hit hollow space.
3. Vacuum bees into my homemade bee-vac, while removing comb.
4. Rubber band the removed comb into frames, and put the frames in the box.
5. Dump the bees from the vacuum into the new hive.
6. Reduce their entrance so they could defend their new home, and remove the log.

All of which sounds straightforward, right? Well, as you'll see from the video once I get it posted, it was a bit of a scene. Learned some good lessons, which I'll note along with the video, so they make more sense.

At any rate, here's a shot of the log once I opened it up.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tiny Swarm Capture; Hive Updates; and a Good Reason to Wear Gloves

Busy bee weekend. Got a call from a friend who had a swarm settle inside one of his compost bins. I took a nuc (a small hive body) over, put it in the compost bin, and used a garden trowel to shovel a couple of small globs of bees into the box. Here's a pic:

I set 'em up back home with a feeder. It's a super small cluster; if the weather gets cold I'll have to combine them, probably with the feral hive I got from a garage wall (see earlier post). We'll see.

Meantime, I did a pretty detailed inspection today of all my hives. I removed feeders from all the hives I was feeding; they've all got great stores and strong populations. they only have brood on a few frames in the lower deep; but this is the time of year when the breeding slows down, so I'm not too concerned. They've got plenty of chow, that's for sure, so I don't need to feed them anymore. Plus, the eucalyptus is starting to bloom, so I may get some end of the year honey!

My latest mite count showed the Apiguard did a pretty impressive job. The one hive that had way too many mites to count, thousands, was down to 50 on the sticky board after a 3-day drop. The rest were all quite a bit lower than that, and all showed a reduction from the initial count.

Finally, I've got another good reason to wear gloves. Lots of beekeepers don't like gloves, but I swell up pretty bad when I'm stung (see earlier post of my Elephant Man face) so I wear 'em. Good thing--- today I took off one of the top covers, and was greeted by some mummified bees in very sticky web, and hunkered in a corner, the biggest Black Widow spider I've ever seen. I wish I'd thought to take a picture, but honestly my first reaction was to squish her with my hive tool.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Going Out on a Limb

I saw a notice on one of the bee forums from Keith, a guy who was trimming one of his trees and happened to slice through a fairly impressive hive. The hive had been basically bisected; when I got there, one of the sawn limbs retained some comb, but the other chunk retained all the bees. Pretty easy to figure out where the queen was!

Here's what the back end (the sawn-thru portion) of the hive looked like:

And here's the front entrance, the way the bees were originally accessing this tree. You can also see where an offshoot of the hive was sawn through.

To transport I decided to just staple some cardboard onto the two exposed areas, because the saw cuts were pretty smooth. I then plugged the front entrance with some comb I pulled from the cut limb that just had comb, but no more bees. Here's what it looked like when I put it in my truck:

Once I got home, I slid the limb into my John Deere Gator bed, transported it to a temporary stand, and slid it onto that. Then, I just used my hive tool to pop the wax plug. Interestingly, during the 20-mile drive home a number of bees had found their way past the cardboard, and were clustered on the outside of the limb (that protruding part that wasn't sawn through) like a mini-swarm.

I did not charge for this pick-up, but ordinarily here in SoCal it would be about $100--- half for travel time, half for the pick-up. But these were nice folks who were concerned about the bees and trying to do the right thing, and I just didn't feel right charging them.

Next challenge: figuring out how to move these girls out of the limb and into a hive box. Gonna take some creative thinking...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Waiting for the Fall Flow

Right now only a few random pepper trees and one lone eucalyptus is blooming in this area, so I've been feeding 1-1 sugar syrup for several weeks. My goal is to make sure the hives are full, so when the fall flow starts (around here, primarily eucalyptus) they'll store all the honey in the supers, and I'll get a bunch of nice, dark eucalyptus honey.

The flush for the euc's lasts through January, which takes us nicely into the early sage bloom, followed by hollyleaf cherry, among others. All of this, of course, presumes a modicum of rain in Jan/Feb. The hollyleaf cherry didn't even bloom at all this past year, due to the drought.

Predictions this winter are actually for an El Nino, a period of unusually heavy rain in the Southland which could potentially ruin February, (that's when they usually hit the hardest) but could also make for a very productive, albeit a little late, spring flow. The chaparral typically blooms like crazy very soon after any significant rain.

Now that every hive has been treated with Apiguard, I'll put some sticky boards out this weekend and see if we've decreased the population to tolerable levels. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Treating a Hive with Apiguard

I've talked below about powdered sugar treatments, and I continue to experiment with that method as part of an overall management protocol. However, after treating a couple hives with Apiguard, a thymol-based "natural" mite killer, I experienced a reduction in mite drops of 50-66%. That seems pretty good to me, so I decided to treat the rest of my hives with Apiguard as well.

This video shows how easy and quick it is to treat with Apiguard. You simply leave this first treatment in the hive for two weeks, then replace with another packet, which you leave in until the gel-like solution is gone.

I got my Apiguard here, from Bee-Commerce. That's Howland Blackiston's website, where you can find lots of high quality beekeeping gear. He's also the author of the first beekeeping book I ever read, "Beekeeping for Dummies." I highly recommend including this book in your beekeeping library.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Treating; Harvesting; Testing

Big weekend. I treated with Apiguard all the hives I previously treated with powdered sugar. I harvested several frames of honey from one of my new hives this year (a rarity to get honey from a brand new hive) and took four frames from one of the commercial hives so I could get the Apiguard packet on top of some brood frames. I'll have a video of Apiguard treatment posted in a couple days.

The honey is much darker than the sage honey I harvested on July 4. This honey is dark amber, like Guiness beer. I think it's probably a mix of nectar from sumac, California buckwheat, California Pepper Tree, and Eucalyptus (we've got some early blooming Euc's in the area).

Just got an email newsflash that further implicates the varroa mite in Colony Collapse disorder, so I'm going all out this year to control these little vermin. All out, that is, without resorting to actual miticides or other poisons...

To that end, I tested a new gizmo to see if it would make powdered sugar treatments easier. It's a bellows I got from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. The jury's still out on its efficacy, as you can see from this video:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Battle with Mites Continues

I put sticky boards under most of the hives last weekend, and pulled them for a mite count this evening. You may recall (if you watched the videos below) that I treated two hives with Apiguard because they had high mite counts, and treated the rest with powdered sugar.

Well... either I didn't do a good job of thoroughly powdering each hive, or powdered sugar just flat doesn't work. Apiguard, on the other hand, seems promising.

Here are the results. In parentheses are the counts from July 28:

1- 37 (106)
2- can’t place board, need to elevate hive.
3- Too many to count! Hundreds! A carpet of mites! (20)
4- 55 (6)
5- 66 (17)
6- 50 (111)
7- 0
8- didn’t check; need to make another sticky board

So, the two hives I treated with Apiguard--- #1 and #6--- saw a reduction of roughly 50-66%. Pretty good.

The hives treated with powdered sugar simply exploded. Hive #3 was insane; the sticky board was carpeted with mites. Interestingly, I had noticed yellow jackets preying on fallen bees in front of that hive this weekend. I thought it was just drones being kicked out for the year, but now I'm thinking they were drones--- and maybe workers--- weakened by mite parasitism.

Obviously, I'm going to treat all the affected hives (except 1 and 6) with Apiguard asap; probably Friday AM.

Apiguard, by the way, is a thymol-based solution. Thymol is an essential oil, not an insecticide. While you should not pull honey during Apiguard treatments, it's okay to place supers and pull honey immediately afterwards, that's how benign it is.

As for #1 and #6- I'm gonna give powdered sugar another try, this time with a bellows applicator I just bought. I've read mixed reviews on how these work; but I'll give it a shot. Maybe it'll be more effective than just shaking the sugar from the top. Since I just did a full treatment with Apiguard on these two, I don't want to repeat that this soon.

If I can talk my fearless videographer into showing up next weekend, I'll have some video of the process.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today the Ants Won

Over the weekend I fought what turned out to be a losing battle with sugar ants (I don't know that actual species, I only know these teeny little black ants LOVE sweets).

My observation hive sits inside a kind of inside/outside room--- it's an enclosed room, screened in, and the flooring is simply part of the deck. So, it's certainly not ant-proof, and that was driven home in a big way starting Thursday night.

The observation hive was besieged by ants going after the frame of capped honey and bee bread, and the bees were freaking out. I pulled the hive outside on Saturday, completely removed everything, brushed away all ants, cleaned up the home site as best as I could... and when I returned the hive, the ants were back within hours.

I kept fighting for awhile, soaking the surrounding area in Windex, setting ant stakes up outside, etc... but it was no use. They were simply overwhelming the small number of bees in this hive.

So, I took the observation hive outside and opened it up. I removed the honey frame, the brood frame, and an unused drawn frame, along with the undrawn honey frame (it's a four frame ob hive).

I gave the honey and brood to the garage cut-out hive, since they're struggling. And I let nature take its course.

Interestingly, the queen must've flown back into the observation hive when I had it outside. Eventually, after a great deal of tumult, they settled into swarm formation. I moved them to my backyard so they're out of the way, and I'm just gonna let 'em go. It's such a small group and it's so late in the season, I don't think they'll make it through the winter, and it's not a big enough group to warrant catching and adding to an established hive.

Here's the hive with the swarm, and then a close-up of the swarm.

Oh, well. Ants 1, Kerry 0.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update on the Garage Cut-Out Hive

We're in pretty much a total dearth right now in this area, and the small hive I cut out of a garage wall (see photos in an earlier post below) has simply not been able to make much progress. I checked 'em today; they hadn't expanded their comb at all, and were pretty ornery besides.

I'm going to feed this hive again in the next couple days to give them a boost, but I think I'm going to need to combine them with a stronger one soon. Hopefully I'll be able to video that process, and I'll show it here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Varroa Mite Count After Treatment

So, in early July I treated for varroa mites. Two hives had high counts, so I used Apiguard. For the other hives I just used a powdered sugar shake (you can see the video in an earlier post below).

The two Apiguard hives had a HUGE mite drop. (Meaning, mites that had fallen through my screened bottom board, onto my sticky board). Interestingly, both hives are Carniolan bees. My other hives are either Italians, or Minnesota Hygenic (which is an Italian that's been bred specifically for its cleanliness; hence "hygenic").

The two afflicted hives went from a 3-day count of 21 and 38 mites, to 106 and 111, respectively! I'm hoping this means the Apiguard is doing its thing, and in another couple weeks when I pull the last packet I'l start to see ensuing reductions in count.

The sugar-treated hives had slight increases in mite drops, or remained nearly unchanged. Since all were pretty low, I'm not worried.

I tested the swarm hive (you can see the video swarm capture below) just for the heck of it, and as I figured would be the case, there were zero mites. Swarming is a great mite control method for bees, as it interrupts the brood cycle--- the bees have to rebuild and start fresh, so there's nothing for the mites to live on for awhile.

Here's what a varroa mite looks like (thanks to Wikipedia for the photo). They're actually visual to the naked eye, although at my age I use glasses and a magnifying glass :-)

By the way, for my sticky boards I just use white, glossy poster board (also know as foam board, or foam core) and spray it with Pam. I punch a hole in one end and affix a string, so I can easily pull it out from under the hive.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Giving My Observation Hive a Boost

I've got an observation hive that has maintained a very small population level. When I first created this hive by taking some frames from an existing hive, I think I lost the bulk of the bees to "drift"--- meaning, they left the observation hive and went back to their previous home.

So, with such a low population this hive leads a hand-to-mouth existence, and I decided to treat them to a full frame of capped honey from one of the hives I got out of the almond orchards. I like doing it this way, as opposed to feeding them sugar water.

This observation hive has a wooden "tunnel" that leads from a bottom entrance (a hole in the upper circular swivel baseboard) through a wood panelling of the wall's interior, and the stucco of the wall's exterior. That's how the bees get in and out without entering the room.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Are You Allergic to Bees?

Ever since I started beekeeping I've run into so many people who tell me, "I'm allergic to bees." When asked about symptoms, they say, "I swell up."

Well, pretty much everyone swells up to one degree or another when stung. The dangerous reaction is anaphylactic, when breathing becomes difficult and emergency care is required. Some beekeepers carry epinephrine kits so they can inject themselves just in case.

I've been stung under my eye with no reaction, and stung on my eyelid with a tremendous reaction. I've been stung on the hand and had it swell up like a catcher's mitt, and stung on the stomach with little more than a pimple resulting. So, it varies. But swelling doesn't mean you're allergic, just means you're normal.

Here's a handsome photo of me within about an hour of getting stung on my right eyelid. Anyone wanna make out?

For more info on anaphylactic shock:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

How to Light a Bee Smoker

Sean Arenas, my friend who shoots all these great videos for me, was fascinated by how simple in design the smoker was. I guess in this hi-tech world a tool that hasn't changed fundamentally in hundreds of years is kind of a curiousity.

Anyway, he had questions about the fuel I use, how I light it, and so on, so while I was answering him, we went ahead and shot it. Here's how you light a honeybee smoker:

BY THE WAY... I mention in the video that smoking the bees "calms them down." That's not actually what I meant. They're so busy filling their honey stomachs that they don't have the inclination to defend their hive. Most of the time, anyway...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Someone Had a Question About Frame Labelling

I had a question from Dane, who watched one of the videos and was sharp-eyed enough to notice that some of my frames have dates written on the top bars. The question was, "What's the purpose of that?"

I dated those frames so I'd know, a few years down the line,how long they've been in use. At some point it's considered a good idea to replace "black comb" with new foundation, just as a hedge against disease.

Some people recommend switching out old foundation/comb every 3 or 4 years, but others don't change them out at all. I'm going to play it by ear, and see if I can establish any kind of guideline of my own.

I don't do this with all my frames, by the way. The ones on the video just so happened to be ones I'm going to be experimenting with. In case you want to look here's the video Dane was referring to.

Thanks for the question, Dane!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My First Cut-Out Hive

A few weeks ago I did my first cut-out, where I removed a hive that was living in the wall of a garage out in Santa Monica. The hive was behind a tarp that was hiding an unpanelled section of wall.

I pulled the tarp away, and here's what the hive looked like:

I used a homemade bee-vacuum to capture all the bees, and then cut the comb out and rubber-banded it into some empty frames. Once I got home, I installed the frames, along with a few extra frames with foundation, and the bees into this nuc.

I later moved them into a larger hive box, and fed them. Here's where I feed 'em again, and we find the queen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Varroa Mite Control Using Powdered Sugar

Finished dusting four hives with powdered sugar on Saturday.

I'll put the sticky boards down next Friday, and pull them Sunday. That's when I'll do another mite count.

The combination of powder and a screened bottom board is part of a natural program of preventative maintenance. I've got two hives I treated with Apiguard--- they had a high varroa infestation, so I went to a stronger treatment (thymol, an essential oil), after which I'll dust them.

All an effort to avoid using Apistan or other pesticides that mites across the world are already becoming resistant to.

There is controversy over the efficacy of the powdered sugar treatment. This link is a summary of a study which says it's pretty much useless.

However, beekeepers everywhere use this--- again, not as a cure-all, but as a part of an overall mite control program. The goal isn't eradication, the goal is to help the bees cope with a manageable number of mites. In the end, the real solution will be mite-resistant bees--- there are a number of breeding programs underway towards that end.

Anyway, I promised to show, not tell... so here's a video demo of the Powdered Sugar method.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How to Catch a Bee Swarm

As an introduction, here's a clip of a swarm capture I did on June 30, 2009 in a Reseda, California backyard. Enjoy!

Mucho thanks to Sean Arenas for the video work.

Starting a Blog About Hobbyist Beekeeping

If you're checking out this blog, presumably you're thinking about becoming a hobbyist beekeeper. Good for you! Beekeeping is a rewarding and fun hobby, and it's also a great way to really get in touch with the natural world around you--- even if your "natural world" is a suburb or downtown apartment!

My plan is to show, rather than tell, so I'll be posting a series of instructional videos that cover everything from the basics of lighting your bee smoker to treating for harmful mites to harvesting honey and more.