Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wild Cherry Blooming

Wild Cherry blossoms are brightening up the woodland - good food for our bees and now a freeze warning tonight... argh...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The piney woods on a warm spring afternoon...

I use dry pine needles for my bee smoker fuel.  With the impending rain I made a trip to the woods yesterday afternoon to gather some.  The temp was warm - the wonderful smell of a piney wood on a warm day will always seem like home to me.  I also found these beauties along the way.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pussy Willows

Pussy Willows are such fun plants and they provide early pollen.  My bees love them.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Handmade Soap with Honey !

My honey and soap has traveled much farther than me ! Both have been to Italy. My Beetacular (lemongrass blend) is the feature soap at Villa Sant'Andrea
( Enjoy this beautiful location if you plan a trip abroad. But those of you who are stateside can also enjoy Beetacular !

Spring and buzzing bees.

A busy day in the bee yard !

Friday, March 21, 2014

Getting My Swarm Trap Ready !

One of my important early spring activities is checking my swarm traps.  I have one that is placed about 100 yards north of my bee yard.  I have caught a swarm in this trap every summer.  Sometimes it is a swarm that has left my own hives and at least once - it was a swarm from another apiary or a wild colony.  My swarm trap is made of an old weathered deep hive box with a nailed on top and bottom.  Ten Frames are inside the box and there are a few frames of old comb that will smell good to a bee and will not represent a real loss to me if they are destroyed. After the cold, windy weather -
I could see that the box had shifted and needed some attention.

 It is rare to get out to this box without being accompanied by the goats.  Who would have guessed that they knew so much about honeybee swarm traps ?! They certainly do not like the boxes that are full of bees !

Daisy is especially concerned that some of the frames must have too much propolis or (bee glue) on the ends to fit properly in the box. As for me, I feel that old frames are especially attractive to scout bees.  Scout bees leave the mother colony in advance of a swarm and select possible new home sites. Blake has become bored with the whole process and laid down to rest.  Daisy and I finish putting the box back up in the tree.  It is only about 6 ft off the ground but I have to place it low enough that I can get it down later when bees/honey are inside. 

All finished and ready for Spring.  I will need to walk by this box every week during the swarm season.  If a colony moves in,   I will remove it quickly or it will be so heavy I will not be able to get it down without help !

We have just finished and a scout bee is already checking it out !