Gold Star Honey Bees
Beginning a discussion on top bar hives and standard hives in a question and answer format, getting the best of each for users of both kinds of hives.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
This post offers tips for winterizing a top bar hive - insulating, mouse guards, wrapping, closing entrances, protecting from wind. All things you can do to help get them through!
This blog post by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees describes some techniques for getting bees to draw straight comb in a top bar hive.
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
A quick essay regarding the "size" question of a top bar hive, from the bee's point of view - where it's all about the "volume"!
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
Buzz is brewing about Bee-a-Thon 2011, an online "town hall" event scheduled for July 16, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. A variety of bee experts — from beekeepers to academics to environmentalists — will discuss the importance of bees and the critical challenges of colony collapse disorder.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
You can make your own fire starters from cardboard, sawdust, lint and melted candle wax or buy them ready-made.
Honey bees began to disappear in October 2006 and continue to do so. Find out how you can help the problem.
This week saw the first ever honey show in London, and what a joy it was for all involved. Based at the Lancaster Hotel in London, the first hotel in the UK to put beehives on their roof, it was the perfect location for such a great event.
Follow this advice for avoiding and treating bee stings.
Beekeeping basics and how to keep bees safely and simply.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
If you’re thinking of keeping a colony of honeybees to increase the pollinator population in your garden or orchard, you may want to consider “hygienic” bees developed at the University of Minnesota. They have fewer Varroa mites and are less likely to suffer from two bee diseases: American foulbrood and chalkbrood, so they should be a good choice for a low-maintenance hive of bees.
Laura Weaver has managed BeeWeaver Apiaries, along with her husband, Danny Weaver, for nearly 2 decades. She has seen the bee industry and the public image of the bee change, as well as their own family bee business.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
Honey from our backyard bees provide us with a sweetener, but just as important, honey has many health benefits.
The beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
I got first bee removal call of the year yesterday. It’s a bit early, but hey, I won’t complain. The woman said that she thought there were three colonies in her wall.
As 923 million people continue to starve around the world, an event called World Food Day is working to help. Held every year on October 16, people meet in small groups to discuss ways to alleviate hunger in their own communities.
Some of Natural Home’s favorite paint and wallcovering companies get pretty in pink.
Two Ogden Publications employees turned beekeeping beginners seperate the honey from the comb in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS parking lot. Thier backyard hives are only four miles away for making sweet, local honey.
Stick with culinary sage whenever you don't know if a specific type of sage is edible.
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
When getting a top bar hive ready for winter, you need to know how much honey there is...and measureing these frames is different than measuring rectangular frames.
The mild winter, early sring and continued warm weather are really messing up the normal sequene of bloom and availability of honeybee food. What will happen this summer is anyone's guess. Be Prepared.
Cam loves living in a place where he can enjoy the night skies.... even if he doesn't completely understand what he's looking at some of the time!
Help measure the amount of 'light pollution' in your community and contribute to a growing data set by participating in Globe at Night.
Three U.S. regional beekeeping associations offer much to beekeepers at any skill level and experience. Beeyard adventures, workshops, lectures, honey shows, and the chance to meet hundreds of likemined individuals await you here.
An expert on do-it-yourself projects explains how to apply the fundamental KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) to tractors.
Learn how to start seeds indoors using inexpensive fluorescent lights.
It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.
Yellow Pages is making its website more appealing and enticing to customers.
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
Is it really necessary to give my new chicks “chick starter” feed? Any reason why I can’t simply give them “layer” feed right away?
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
The bar has been raised! Televisions now need to consume less energy to qualify for the Energy Star label.
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
How to make beeswax fabric, an attractive alternative to plastic.
Render beeswax from your wax cappings easily and inexpensively.
The good news: We can grow a lot more food than we could in the old days. The bad news: We can't grow enough
Catching a swarm of bees is awesome. Now learn how to take care of them.
Introducing Alpaca-Gold, a new company producing 100% all natural, organic Alpaca fertilizer.
Merry Graham will help represent Bob’s Red Mill in the 2011 Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland
In more shocking news about the honey on U.S. store shelves, a Food Safety News study analyzes more than 60 jars of honey and finds that nearly all of them have been ultra-filtered to disguise their potentially tainted and toxic origins.
A heart warming story about a feral cat that traveled many miles across harsh terrain to be back to familiar ground.
An automotive whiz explains why it's not a great idea to let your car warm up by idling.
Catch the gardening bug, and start to grow your own food! Once you start, you’ll love it. Here are some basic pieces of advice for the budding gardener.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how they prepare their beehives to survive the long cold winter in upstate New York.
Looser standards and self-certification have led to a market flooded with Energy Star appliances—many with questionable qualifications.
The requirements for the much-trusted Energy Star label have changed after a government test discovered exploitable flaws in its certification process.
Following a disastrous investigation into the Energy Star program’s certification process, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are making major changes, including scrapping automated approval and requiring stricter lab results.
You can get more for your gardening money with a group seed starting effort.
Summer comes on fast in the Southeast. Expert gardeners Ira Wallace and Pam Dawling share some tips to keep ahead of the heat and a recipe for Roselle Dessert Bars to help you appreciate the heat when it comes.
Volunteers work to start the Sunset Hill Elementary School Garden in Lawrence, Kan.
Try a simple seed viability test to see if your old seeds are worth planting.
Beekeeping can bring many benefits other than a great hobby and honey production. Follow Iain as he tries to build a socially responsible company helping disabled people make beeswax candles.
This is the second part of our foray into sourdough baking. Here are tips and insight on sourdough to make working with it even easier.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
Kim Flottum of "Bee Culture Magazine" and Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees discuss tips and techniques of keeping bees in different types of hives - top bar hives and conventional Langstroth hives.
The vagaries of beekeeping jargon and its importance to the beginning natural beekeeper.
Bee populations in urban settings are increasing, but urban settings aren’t set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees... or are they?
Bee populations in cities are increasing, but urban settings aren't set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees...or are they?
Although winter may seem a long way off, starting to prepare your beehives for winter now will pay off later. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will describe what they do to get their beehives ready for winter.
How using a refractometer can increase your honey production, how a refractometer works and how to use a refractometer.
Many people waste too much time each trying to get motivated to work. As a result, they get a lot less done than they need to or would like to. In this blog, I show a way that has helped me for many years get motivated to work and stay on task.
Homemade transplant pots from newspaper save money and reduce waste.
These resources will help you learn how to grow food and start a garden.
The Solar Nite Eyes Predator Protection System helps ward predators away from your poultry, bees, trees and more. The Solar Nite Eyes are inexpensive, effective and easy to use. Try this method of predator protection around your homestead.
You can control damage caused by carpenter bees with these nontoxic methods.
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
What began as a hobby for her young son turned into a lucrative honey production business for beekeeper and MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Alissa Brandemuhl-Zengel.
Iain continues to battle with the frustration of starting up a candle making business hitting trouble at every corner. Here he talks about his plans moving forward and how he still plans to succeed in his socially responsible candle making business
Beekeeping allows us to have not only honey, but also the wax. This is a story of how to make beeswax candles with molds and some of the difficulties I have yet to resolve.
From cleaning raw beeswax to enjoying the final product, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will take you step by step through the process of making beeswax candles.
A small apiary uses a unique system to extract honey from frames.
Getting started each day presents a major challenge to many people. With so many pressing demands, it's often difficult to know where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and panicked, you may end up frittering away your time. He's a trick to get you going.
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
This is amazing! Pairing sourdough with beer and wine, 10-ince pancakes, what next? We're taking sourdough to the next level for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
Tips on how, when and why to grow your own seedlings.
One way to get a jumpstart on the growing season is to start growing your seeds indoors. For most of you it’s still cold outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a headstart on getting your garden started for the new year.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
Gardening is as easy as you want it to be!
There are times when I find beekeeping stressful but most of the time not of my own making. I discuss here the weather, when bees decide to do things you don't want and when you are just totally unprepared!
This is a great first guest post for Geoff Fitzgerald and his beekeeping photography aspirations. Follow his journey here.
We installed two packages of bees, one into a top bar hive and the other into a Warre hive. One colony absconded, so we ended up with only 12,000 bees.
Find out what the best home remedies are for easing the symptoms of bee stings.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
Ditch unhealthy school lunches with a fresh lunch idea for kids: school gardens. Beyond putting fresh, healthy food in schools, cafeteria gardens are a great classroom tool and a big step towards more sustainable schools.
During the exceptional heat & drought in Texas this summer BeeWeaver worked hard to just keep hives alive... no honey, no divides.
Tips for starting seeds indoors and a calendar for when to start your seeds indoors for a Zone 6 garden.
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
Harvesting honey from an experimental frameless beehive.
One of the most fun parts of beekeeping is harvesting honey. Here we will look at the first part of the honey harvest, removing the honey supers from the hives, and how to store them safely.
Jennifer Ford shows how she extracts and bottles her "liquid gold" honey at Bees of the Woods Apiary.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss how to enjoy a little taste of summer in the middle of winter by developing a new appreciation for honey!
Spending a day having fun prospecting for gold, enjoying the outdoors, exploring a ghost town and the high mountains.
This is a beginner's guide to getting started with sourdough bread making. With directions on how to make your own starter, or where to order some, this will get you on your way towards making some delicious breads, biscuits, pancakes or waffles.
Check out how millions of gallons of water can be saved by Aug. 11, 2009!
Tips for saving energy at home while trying to stay cool.
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, expected to pass this summer, offers rebates for windows, doors, skylights, window films and storm windows and doors.
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which passed the House on May 5, would provide $6 billion in rebates to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes.
Tips on how to conserve energy at home with Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs.
It's time for our third annual call for nominations for outstanding modern homesteaders! Organic gardeners, do-it-yourselfers and general self-sufficient gurus are being sought for the opportunity to be named as one of our 2014 Homesteaders of the Year.
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder app uses your zip code to find sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products.
Five people and two U.S. honey processors were charged with ‘honey laundering’. Investigators found illegally imported honey from China.
Use herbs from your garden,vegetable oil and beeswax to make a solid perfume.
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Make a shelf or table into a growing space for starting seedlings.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
By starting seeds indoors, you get a jump start on spring garden planting.
How to measure tomato seedlings for success before planting into your garden.
Kids get to have fun, learn about gardneing and start veggie seeds at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.
Overview of the activities of a garden in March. How to prepare the soil for spring. What varieties I am planting this March in our Zone 6 garden.
What seeds to plant by month in a Zone 6, or Midwest, garden, plus seed-sowing times for spring and summer crops.
Growing lettuce and other leafy greens indoors with an aeroponic system in a south-facing window seems like a wise move, especially during this long, snowy winter. Here I will explain the basics of growing greens with an aeroponic system, starting off with the initial expenses and moving on to pH and nutrient solution. Then I’ll hope the sun provides enough life-giving rays long enough each day to grow some leafy greens.
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
Listen to what happens when you have a hole in your jeans and angry bees!
Tips on wasps and ways to get rid of nests around your house or property.
Buzz through the flowers in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Learn why systemic neonicotinoid pesticides widely used to grow corn are one of the reasons so many honeybees and other pollinators are dying.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a bee hive structure.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
It's time to start thinking of winter for your bees. They much have enough food to get through the long months when no food is coming in. It's your job to see that they do.
There are many beekeeping associations in the U.S., national, regional and local. The two National Groups are discussed, looking at members, activities and goals.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Using only honey and water, you can make naturally fermented mead to enjoy at home.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
This series of posts chronicles Betty Taylor's adventures in goat farming. This first post covers selecting a goat breed and breeder, costs, and preparing for arrival of my goats.
Baking the Great American Apple Pie chases away the blues and grays that sometimes afflict the homestead.
When the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 passes (as expected) this summer, be prepared by learning what to expect when you buy a water heater, heating system, air-source air conditioner or heat pump.
The “Cash for Caulkers” home-retrofitting program, known as the Home Star program, is expected to pass the Senate this summer. The bill offers rebates for 13 different types of retrofits, including insulation and air and duct sealing
Energy expert Dan Chiras suggests a simple process for locating energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
How to install a package of bees
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
We're gearing up for spring on our southwest Virginia farm, planning the garden, pruning the perennials, and getting ready to raise bees, broilers, and mushrooms.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
Mark fenced in a new chicken pasture in the hot sun, an experience that was made possible by his homemade solar fan hat. Meanwhile, I played with scythes and bees and maps.
What follows are my top 6 tips on how to start beekeeping; a most wonderful hobby that I urge everyone to take up.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
Our office was abuzz with bee activity this morning! We received four packages of bees today before they were delivered to their final garden homes.
Learn how to encourage good pollinators when growing plants under row covers to keep out the bad bugs.
Each season brings its own work on a homestead. In the autumn, the garden and animals still require work, but this is also the time to put in a cistern and begin a smoke house.
Danny Weaver is a 4th generation beekeeper. He started out allergic to bee stings and overcame the dangerous allergy. Learning about how to tolerate bee stings is part of being around the bees.
Describing how to look up tax maps, cutting carrots, and deleting problem tomato plants that only produce insipid fruit. The main attraction this week is our Power Plucker review and how awesome this new product is at saving time when plucking.
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
Have you started your tomatoes and peppers yet? 'Tis the season to start seeding long season crops indoors. If you normally buy organic starts from your local nursery, try your hand at seed starting.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is seeking readers’ stories of home-based businesses, and we’ll pay $50 for each story we use.
It's mid-February, time to start thinking about spring! Ira Wallace helps us make our garden plan, remember our perennials, and Plant a Row for the Hungry this year.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
Organic Coconut Sugar is made from sap collected from the freshly cut flower buds of organic coconut palm trees grown on small, sustainable farms.
Hoch Ybrig cheese from Swiss cheese maker Rolf Beeler is a standout on its own, but here are some delicious ideas for pairing it with honey, wine and beer.
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Basil is a versatile herb that can be used for companion planting, bee forage, year-round herb as well as delicious pesto.
One way to overwinter a top bar hive in a northern climate is to provide good ventilation and some insulation. Enough food is needed, and good protection from the wind is too. We'll see how it works.
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
Talking about Annie Upshure and the Catholic Workers Movement and how Peace Farms moved into Appalachia.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
Summing up the past week with a few highlights that help to illustrate how we've been getting along in the ending days of the 2012 winter season.
Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term "certified home" includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Eating cicadas, building a porch, and hauling lumber for said porch all in the same week with several images of the action as well as some bee installation pictures.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Simran Sethi writes about choosing eco-friendly paints, tiles, and other aspects of her renovated bathroom.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.