Honeybees have a number of pests and parasites that can weaken, damage, or even destroy the hive. This month we will focus on the most common pests in our beeyard — small hive beetles, wax moths, and varroa mites — as well as what we do to control them so we have the healthiest hives possible.
There are three types to choose from: the top-bar, Warre, and Langstroth hive. Each hive has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the one you choose depends on your needs and preferences.
It's all about beating the heat at Bees of the Woods Apiary this month! We'll share some tips and strategies for keeping you and your bees comfortable during the dog days of summer.
A day full of learning and fun created the perfect respite to my recent turmoil about lawn ordinances and greater world tragedies. There are so many friends and animal family that I have yet to discover—I will hold onto this day as a lovely treasure of proof that there are people who understand and walk similar paths.
Learn how to recognize a honeybee swarm and prepare for it ahead of time! These tell-tale signs will put you on the path to catching your own swarm, complete with a queen.
Beekeeping is a fun yet rewarding experience. Not only you can produce a sustainable, nutritious natural sweetener, but you can also benefit the environment by keeping bees in your backyard. This post will help you get into beekeeping.
Did you know that you can tell a lot about the behavior of a honeybee by the sound of her buzz? Careful attention to the sound of the honeybee’s buzzing can alert the beekeeper to the mood of the bees.
It's another busy month at Bees of the Woods Apiary! Jennifer Ford will share what we have been up to in June 2016, including keeping up with honey supers and brood boxes — and the importance of knowing when you have enough hives.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares what has been going on in the beeyard this month, including queen rearing and pollen production.
Top bar hives are becoming increasingly popular with beekeepers as they help encourage bees to colonize in a more natural way than Langstroth beehives. Installing bees in a top-bar hive can be surprisingly easy if you take a few steps to ensure that your new colony is happy.
In the Northeast, you never know what to expect in the beeyard in April. From snow to some very busy bees, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share what has been going on in the apiary this past month.
Who knew there were different breeds of honeybees? Choosing the best breed for you depends on your goals as a beekeeper. This post covers a few of the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular breeds of honeybees.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share what happens in the beeyard during the month of March. This is a critical time in the apiary - for both bees and beekeepers.
Here, you will find Part 2 of a year-long series that will follow what we do as beekeepers and what happens in our apiary through the course of the year.
Choosing between ordering package bees, nucleus (nucs) hives and splitting your own. Maybe try all three!
Have you been wondering what it is like to raise honeybees? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer a peek into the life of a beekeeper in part one of a year long series. She will share what goes into maintaining a beeyard throughout the course of a year.
If you need a treat and are choosing between refined sugar and honey, honey definitely has its benefits.
There are many ways to sell your extra honey and other products of the hive. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain a few easy ways to sell all of that extra honey, including how to sell honey online, at work, at a roadside stand and more!
In traditional Langstroth beehives, the honey is extracted via a centrifuge that spins the golden liquid out of the comb and allows it to run into your pot. In a top-bar hive, honey collection is quite different, as isthe rest of the top-bar hive beekeeping process.
For a long time, the only beehive you tended to see would be the traditional Langstroth hive. In recent years, new styles have become popular including the Warre hive, and the top bar hive design. It is important to be familiar with the various styles of beehive in order to choose what is most appropriate for your colony.
Getting ready to sell your honey and other products of the hive at a fair or festival? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss how to make the day of the event both enjoyable and successful.
With many pollinators at risk, or on the decline, it is important to protect them in any way that we can. Mason Bees are great pollinators and building them a home to live in is easy!
Bees have nested in your home. How do you get rid of them humanely? There are no easy answers to this situation. The editor of Bee Culture magazine outlines your options for safe, non-lethal bee removal options that are available to you.
Hive pests increase at this time of year while colony numbers decrease. Check your hives every two weeks. It doesn’t take long.Attentiveness over the autumn months pays off.
Honeybees have a complex social system - who does what is clearly defined and intricately divvied up. But where does the beekeeper fit into the story? Let's find out.
Here, I share this very simple method for rendering beeswax that will take you from sticky mess to wonderfully fragrant disks of clean beeswax ready for your crafts and beauty products while costing very little of your time and precious energy. Your bees will actually benefit from it!
Have you thought about selling your extra honey and beeswax products at a fair or festival? In Part 1 of a three-part series, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss how to get started in selling your products of the hive.
Developing a checklist can help when loading up for a trip to the bee yard. Here's how I'm trying to eliminate unnecessary trips back to the house for a forgotten tool.
Spring hive inspection in preparation for making splits.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer some tips on preparing for a successful start to the beekeeping season!
Changing out old comb for new. Getting rid of old black comb.
Packages of bees originating from California last year had a high rate of failure due to the poor quality queens they contained.
Interested in beginning beekeeping? Here’s a simple checklist to get you started in time for spring.
A blog about the joy of a mentoring relationship and the rewards for the mentor and a new-bee.
A wakeup call for folks who want to keep bees without the work, stings and realities.
Reasons to do a quick hive inspection as soon as possible. Dealing with deadouts and preparing equipment.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
Don't wait if you plan to start beekeeping this year. If you want to be a beekeeper, now is the time and this blog post will provide you with information to prepare for the coming season.
Being stung is the most often quoted reason for not keeping honeybees. This was also my fear before I started keeping bees. There are ways to reduce your chances of being stung. With just a few precautions, you don't have to let this keep you from a rewarding hobby.
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will share her beekeeping goals for the New Year, along with some tips on how to make them happen.
A beekeeper, acting as the Guardian, discovers a hive that appears to have been frozen in early spring and then sees it come back to life before his very eyes. This beekeeping short story may surprise you, too.
What could be lurking in the commercial honey you buy? Maybe it’s not honey at all, and would you think honey is healthy if you knew it contained corn syrup? Let’s talk about how commercial honey is produced and why you might want to find a local source for raw honey.
A brief update on how the bees are faring during a break in the freezing weather.
Don't wait until spring to get into beekeeping. Order your package honeybees now.
Beekeeping has its benefits: raw honey, beeswax and pollination. With a quick check, you can find out if your community offers a rent-a-bee program. For a fee, you'll get a queen bee, hive colony and a mentor to get you started.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary talks about her experience with developing an allergy to honeybee venom, and how she manages this allergy to be able to continue beekeeping.
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
All you need to know about the island’s most fascinating export: New Zealand Manuka honey.
Don't over-stay your welcome at the hive. Give your bees space.
Some things to know about the last fall hive inspections in preparing the bees for winter.
Our declining industrial system has created a series of environmental and social problems and can no longer produce the wealth required to solve them. That means that ordinary citizens must shoulder the burden of changing the way things are done by creating biodiverse systems. Here is a place to start.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, explains how to produce comb honey, and why it is such a valuable product of the hive.
Learn how and why to utilize a queen excluder in your beehives.
This beekeeping blog post describes robbing behavior in honeybees, what causes it, and how to prevent or stop it.
Allan Savory visits Polyface! This was a week of permaculture lessons, staying up late with birds, processing honey and winding down from Field Day.
How do you manage offers of used beekeeping equipment? This post describes some creative options.
In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.
In this blog, I hope to convince beekeepers that not feeding the bees is better for the health of the bees and for the beekeeper's bottom line.
Locating a queen in a hive full of thousands of bees can be hard. Here are a few tips.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
Propolis is becoming a very popular “bee product” in the natural health arena. The fact that it is produced in nature does not make a product sustainable. We must always be aware of the toll that the harvest of that product makes on the organism that creates it.
Here I describe the honey harvest and how it varies from year to year.
Choices are available when it comes to feeding a new package of honeybees. Three of the options are discussed in this post. Choose the one that is right for you.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss honeybee swarms, and how to try to prevent your bees from swarming.
This is a followup to an earlier blog that reports on the successes and failures in creating nucleus beehives this spring.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
The post office has called to say your bees have arrived! Now What? Step-by-step instructions on installing your hive.
My bees shipped early - here we go!
For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.
Describes how understanding the nectar flow in your geographical area helps you maximize colony health and honey production.
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain how they perform the first beehive inspections of the year. This will be the first step in what will hopefully be a successful year in the beeyard!
Overcoming my personal fears and welcoming the newest addition to our homestead - honeybees
Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.
Getting ready for new bees involves preparing equipment and the site. Planning ahead leaves little to disturb the bees once they are in their new home.
Worker B continues expanding product line with beeswax candles.
Worker B is returning to their beekeeping roots and adding raw honey to their collection of products.
Describes the timing and the nuts and bolts involved in expanding your apiary by making nucleus hives.
Essential oils can be a useful supplement for honeybees. Lemongrass, spearmint and thyme essential oils are being used to encourage brood development and the overall health of bees.
Beekeeping supply arrived, it's light out and I have a fever!
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
Reading label ingredients is a must for your baby's health.
Pre-spring work up for beehives coming out of winter.
Miller Manufacturing expands the Little Giant beekeeping supply product line.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss some techniques for helping beehives survive through the end of winter.
Starting a new hobby can be intimidating when everything is unfamiliar. Walk through the basics of a beehive structure.
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.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
This is an explanation of how I use a late winter warmup to manipulate my hives in preparation for spring nectar gathering and to minimize swarming.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
Finding the right book for yourself is hard. Even harder if you are trying to learn something new. A BeeWeaver beekeeper, Emerson Arehart, read many beekeeping books and came up with a short list and summary to help you get started learning about bees.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
Take a look around your property and decide where to put your new beehives. Some considerations for hive placement.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares some beekeeping crafts and activities to pass the time until you can get back out in the beeyard this spring.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Becoming a beekeeper takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain some steps you can take now to start getting ready to keep bees in the spring.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
Beekeeping basics and how to keep bees safely and simply.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
Kim Walter shares how she became interested in beekeeping and what she has learned from her bees.
This summary of a Warré Beekeeper’s regular seasonal activities gives you both a general idea of what this method entails in the long-term if you are considering adopting this method, and to provide you with a beekeeping calendar that you can use as a guide after you have gotten started.
This overview of the yearly activities of a Warré beekeeper is for people trying to decide if they have the time to become beekeepers and experienced beekeepers who are curious about the Warré method. It also serves as an index of the many of the main topics that will be covered in depth by this blog.
Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
Learn how to keep your bees properly fed and also ensure a plentiful and delicious honey harvest!
Bee populations in cities are increasing, but urban settings aren't set up to provide lots of forage for honey bees...or are they?
Jennifer Ford shows how she extracts and bottles her "liquid gold" honey at Bees of the Woods Apiary.
Find out how to protect your hives and honeycomb from wax moths without using chemicals.
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.
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?
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.
These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.
The owners of Runamuk quickly realized the high demand for local, raw honey after selling their first few jars of it. See how this home-based business opportunity grew out of beekeeping.
The vagaries of beekeeping jargon and its importance to the beginning natural beekeeper.
Catching a swarm of bees is awesome. Now learn how to take care of them.
OK, you’ve got a start: where to get equipment, groups to join, classes to take, and mentors to hook up with. Now’s the time, before you have bees, to take a long hard look at some of the rest of the things you need to be thinking about.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.
What follows are my top 6 tips on how to start beekeeping; a most wonderful hobby that I urge everyone to take up.
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.
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.
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!
Over in the UK we do our beekeeping conventions a little bit differently than in the United States, and so I thought you might like to see a video of our latest one a few weeks ago: the BBKA Spring Convention.
Tips for managing spring cover crops using only hand tools.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.
A beginner beekeeper learns that the best way to raise healthy bees is to do less.
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.
Being a father myself I really want my children to enjoy my passion and this is a great example of teaching children how to appreciate what bees get up to. With a little patience this is a fantastic family beekeeping activity enjoyed by all.
This is a great first guest post for Geoff Fitzgerald and his beekeeping photography aspirations. Follow his journey here.
A short introduction to the almond pollination adventure going on in California right now. Bee Culture spent 3 weeks exploring this annual event, traveling from Bakersfield to Chico, visiting orchards, beekeepers and almond growers.
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.
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.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
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!
A Christmas Wish for all, inspired by the magic of the honey bee.
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.
If you are looking for gifts for beekeepers this blog post could be perfect encompasing books, clothes, equipment and even wrapping paper. This is perfect fodder for all of you that need to buy presents for beekeepers!
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.
A TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
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.
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.
If, like many beginning beekeepers, you've been confused by how to perform an artificial swarm, watch this beekeeper training video to get a solid grasp on the concept.
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.
Listen to what happens when you have a hole in your jeans and angry bees!
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.
"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.
An auspicious start to our beekeeping? Maybe!
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.
By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.
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.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
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"!
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.
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.
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.
This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.
If this is your first year to keep bees, wear as much protective clothing that makes you feel comfortable but as you become more experienced try wearing less so that you can fully enjoy beekeeping. Just how much protective clothing should you wear?
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
My brief discription of sustainable beekeeping
I briefly describe my journey from a kid on a large 2000 acre alfalfa farm in the west to a homestead beekeeper in the midwest, on our 35 acres that we call BeeLanding.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
Tall Goldenrod is a fall favorite of the honeybee. Although it is most likely the bees are foraging on a variety of flowers, it is natural to assume the most prevalent flower at any given time is the strongest influence in the honey.