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.
This cocktail makes use of honey simple syrup, and simple to make it is. It’s just a 50/50 concentration of honey and water, simmered together. (Regular simple syrup is just water and white sugar, same ratio. Try it for sweetening ice tea.) The recipe calls for Ungava gin, and if you can’t find it, use any high quality gin that’s readily available, although Ungava would be preferred for its unique flavor.
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.
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.
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.
Making mead, a honey-based wine, can open your world to a whole new adventure in fun experimentation. Create a brew with this recipe, then start designing to your own tastes.
If you need a treat and are choosing between refined sugar and honey, honey definitely has its benefits.
Winter signals a retreating indoors for a slower speed in lifing — one filled with thoughtful reflection, the finishing up in processing of the foods my garden has gifted me, and returning to my arting. As a preview to my forthcoming cookbook, I have included my favorite, beer-infused honey mustard recipe below.
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.
A few tweaks in the process may make all the difference in whether a colony survives the winter.
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.
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.
Have you thought about selling your extra honey and beeswax products at a fair or festival? In Part 2 of a three-part series, Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss steps you can take to make your first fair or festival a success.
Small hive beetles are typically considered a secondary pest in the honeybee hive, paling in comparison to the Varroa mite. But they can be more than a nuisance. Left unchecked they may wreck the hive. There are ways to combat this secondary pest.
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.
Most honeybee hives are calm and gentle. But every once in a while you may come across a hive that seems unusually aggressive. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain what steps they take to deal with an abnormally aggressive hive of bees.
I started my first batch of mead after all these years back in October-November. You all may remember my post about the mead. Well, I had trouble with getting the damn thing to start. Here's what happened.
The least expensive method to grow your apiary is to split existing hives. The walk-away split is the easiest way to do this.
My surprise when I thought the mead making wasn't happening.
Sometimes a colony of honeybees dies. Colony-collapse disorder is all over the news, but what else might have happened?
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer some tips on preparing for a successful start to the beekeeping season!
A blog about the joy of a mentoring relationship and the rewards for the mentor and a new-bee.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain the basics of a fun winter project - how to make homemade mead!
A wakeup call for folks who want to keep bees without the work, stings and realities.
Capture the flavor of seasonal grapefruit in this sweet and sour liqueur.
Reasons to do a quick hive inspection as soon as possible. Dealing with deadouts and preparing equipment.
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.
An anecdote that illustrates a few of the realities of farm life and raising livestock.
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.
Jennifer Ford, of Bees of the Woods Apiary, will share how she uses honey and beeswax from her beehives to make useful and creative gifts.
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.
Way back when, I made mead. I think it was back with Leif Erickson or some guy by that name. Of course, back then we had rotary phones, the Internet existed as ARPANET (look it up), and I was on the cutting edge when it came to computer development. I also stumbled across a USENET post for how to make mead.
All you need to know about the island’s most fascinating export: New Zealand Manuka honey.
It's time to harvest honey and there must be a way to evict the bees from the super. This post covers three possible options.
Some things to know about the last fall hive inspections in preparing the bees for winter.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
"Folk Medicine" by D.C. Jarvis, M.D., written in 1958, explains how humans would do well to watch animals that know instinctively how to stay healthy. Jarvis advises drinking raw honey and apple cider vinegar for good health and vigor.
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.
In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.
Did you know that you can learn a lot about the condition of your beehives simply by watching the entrance of the hive? Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain what to look for, and what it might mean. No smoke or hive tool necessary!
Raw honey isn’t just delicious — read on to learn some of the medicinal uses for it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reading label ingredients is a must for your baby's health.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
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!
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.
Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
What is a beekeeper to do during the long cold winter months? Eat honey of course.
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
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.
Beekeeping expert Betty Taylor explains how to reliquify crystalized honey while maintaining color, quality, and nutrients.
A small apiary uses a unique system to extract honey from frames.
Beekeeping basics and how to keep bees safely and simply.
Honey from our backyard bees provide us with a sweetener, but just as important, honey has many health benefits.
Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how they prepare their beehives to survive the long cold winter in upstate New York.
How to prepare your hives for the winter to protect them from mice, skunks, opossums and other wildlife.
Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.
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.
Using only honey and water, you can make naturally fermented mead to enjoy at home.
Beekeeper Betty Taylor explains what for look for during an end-of-summer hive inspection.
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.
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.
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.
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.
Five people and two U.S. honey processors were charged with ‘honey laundering’. Investigators found illegally imported honey from China.
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.
I started my poultry quest way too early for New Englanders: January! I marked my calendar in red and drew childish pictures of a chicken on the calendar blocks. I was as impatient as a 6-year-old waiting for Christmas morning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 TED talk by Christy Hemenway of Gold Star Honeybees: Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
Organic Coconut Sugar is made from sap collected from the freshly cut flower buds of organic coconut palm trees grown on small, sustainable farms.
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"!
Harvesting honey from an experimental frameless beehive.
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.
It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.
How using a refractometer can increase your honey production, how a refractometer works and how to use a refractometer.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania
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.
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.
Honey bees began to disappear in October 2006 and continue to do so. Find out how you can help the problem.
Follow this advice for avoiding and treating bee stings.