A Cool-Sipping Summer Honey Cocktail

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.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: July

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.

Beginning Beekeeping: What You Need to Know to Get Started

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.

Interpreting the Buzz of Honeybees

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.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: June

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.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: May

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.

Installing Bees in a Top-Bar Hive

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.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: April

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.

Choosing Your Honeybee Breed

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.

A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: January

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.

Is Honey Good for You?

If you need a treat and are choosing between refined sugar and honey, honey definitely has its benefits.

Gardening, Artistry and a Beer-Infused Honey Mustard Recipe

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.

How to Sell Surplus Honey

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!

Harvest Honey from a Top-Bar Hive

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.

Types of Beehives

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.

How Do I Find a Humane Bee Removal Service in My Community?

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.

The Buzz on Honeybees

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.

Managing Hive Beetles in Home Beehives

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.

Selling Honey at Fairs and Festivals, Part 1: Planning Ahead

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.

When Good Bees Go Bad

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.

Mishaps in Making Mead

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 Walk-Away Split Pros and Cons

The least expensive method to grow your apiary is to split existing hives. The walk-away split is the easiest way to do this.

Honey of a Mess

My surprise when I thought the mead making wasn't happening.

Why Did My Bees Die?

Sometimes a colony of honeybees dies. Colony-collapse disorder is all over the news, but what else might have happened?

Preparing for Spring Beekeeping

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will offer some tips on preparing for a successful start to the beekeeping season!

Using Honey to Make Mead

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will explain the basics of a fun winter project - how to make homemade mead!

So, You Want to Be a Beekeeper?

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.

How to Not Get Stung

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.

My Beekeeping New Year's Resolutions

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.

The Dog Ate My Chickens

An anecdote that illustrates a few of the realities of farm life and raising livestock.

Comparing Commercial and Locally Produced Raw Honey

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.

December Bees

A brief update on how the bees are faring during a break in the freezing weather.

Gifts from the Hive

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: Try Before You Buy

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.

Beekeeping with a Honeybee Allergy

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.

Honey Wine or My Foray into Mead

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.

Removing Bees From Honey Supers

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.

Folk Medicine Book Advocates Honey and Vinegar

"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.

Time to Thank the Bees

In all that can go wrong in beekeeping, it's time to be grateful for a good season.

At the Hive Entrance

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!

Health Benefits of Honey

Raw honey isn’t just delicious — read on to learn some of the medicinal uses for it.

Do Not Feed the Bees or the Nucs

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.

Can Bee Propolis Be Sustainable?

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.

Honey Harvest

Here I describe the honey harvest and how it varies from year to year.

Using Essential Oils for Honeybees

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.

The Importance of Beekeeping

Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.

Appreciating the Tastes of Regional Honey

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!

Bees of Winter

Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.

Gaia Shrugged

Musing on how most of us believe "the end" is near for various reasons.

For the Beekeeping Newbees!

Encouragement for new beekeepers who may be confused and overwhelmed about all the conflicting advice about keeping bees.

Homesteads as Agricultural Zoos

Homesteads are keeping alive old skills and ways of raising crops and livestock that are being lost in the age of agribusiness.

Early Autumn in the Beeyard – Preparing for Winter!

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.

Honeybees and Robbing

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary explains how to prevent, identify and stop robbing in the beeyard.

Honey Harvest - Part One

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.

City Food for City Bees

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?

Swarm Care

Catching a swarm of bees is awesome. Now learn how to take care of them.

Welcome to Chick Days Vermont!

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.

Compost: The Other Prize from the Business End of a Chicken

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.

Best way to sharpen an axe?

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.

Feeding Bees With Real Food - Honey and Pollen

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.

Back to the future

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.

About Honeybees and January… and April…

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!

Feel-Good Friday: That's Not Honey, Honey

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.

Winterizing Tips for Top Bar Hives

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!

The First Ever London Honey Show

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.

Getting A Top Bar Hive Ready For Winter

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.

Getting Your Bees Ready For Winter...Already.

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.

Backyard Beekeeping by Beginners at MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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.

Live Today: Bee-a-Thon 2011

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.

The Comfort of “Why”

It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...

Organic Coconut Sugar and Honey Crystals

Organic Coconut Sugar is made from sap collected from the freshly cut flower buds of organic coconut palm trees grown on small, sustainable farms.

Project Planning and the Wait

It’s been bitterly cold in Michigan. The big blizzard has gone through and has left us with a bunch of snow.

Summer of Turkeys

Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania

Minnesota Hygienic Bees: Naturally Healthier Than Other Bees

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.

Dance for Honey Bees

Honey bees began to disappear in October 2006 and continue to do so. Find out how you can help the problem.