4 Ways to Use Beautiful Bee Balm on the Homestead

When it comes to landscaping the farmstead or urban homestead, it’s nice to be able to include plants that are both beautiful and functional. Bee balm is a North American wildflower that easily fills both roles. With an unusual, eye-catching bloom that is loved by bees and butterflies, these showy flowers can come in either scarlet or lavender, but this plant provides more than just looks and wildlife habitat: It is also a versatile herb with many different uses for health and home.

You Can't 'Beet' This Root Crop for Versatility

If you have a small amount of garden space and need a crop that is versatile, beets should be your crop of choice. Here are ideas for market use of beets and a Pickled Beets recipe for homestead use.

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.

The Elusive DIY Reuben Sandwich and Family Secrets Revealed

The pieces have all come together. Proper restraint has been shown and I managed to put together a pretty darn good homemade (all but the cheese) Reuben sandwich. However, it is not without some consequences and revelations of a none too proud family tradition.

Finding Solace in the Garden

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.

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.

Delayed Weeding Can Yield Garden Treasures

Selective weeding can result in finding delightfully surprising volunteers in your garden. I’m sure most of you have heard some version of the old adage, “A weed is simply any plant growing in an unwanted place.” When combined with “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” you can sometimes have eye-opening conversations (especially with neighbors).

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.

The Homemade Sauerkraut-and-Corned-Beef Reuben Sandwich that Almost Happened

I had every intention of writing a DIY Reuben Sandwich post this month and, while I did manage to make some sauerkraut and corned beef, I hit a bit of a glitch at the end. The effort was there, but my execution - or better still - will power, failed me. However, in the end, I had a great batch of sauerkraut and a tasty, if short-lived, corned beef to show for my efforts. With a little planning and some time, corned beef and sauerkraut are both easy to make and great tasting.

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.

Hopping in the Backyard: Grow Your Own Small-Scale Specialty Hops Crop

Hops have not been recognized for their full potential! I often ask people, "do you know what hops are?" I always get the same response: "It's what people use to make beer, isn't it?" Well, yes, but they are much more than that. Read about how to grow hops in your backyard and the many uses beyond brewing for this specialty crop.

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.

How to Render Oil from Beef Fat

My freezer is full of beef fat and I finally rendered tallow for cooking oil. We raise some pastured beef for our family, and while we enjoy the grass-fed beef, we have been slower to learn the art of cooking with homemade oil. That's changing. Read how and why I learned to render oil from beef fat to make homemade cooking oil (tallow).

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: March

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.

Grow Up!: Vertical Gardening

Increase your garden’s productivity with growing vertically. Beans, peas, squash and cucumbers love vertical growth. Culinary herbs love the vertical pocket gardens.

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.

Make Your Own Hand and Body Cream (with Bonus Beeswax Hand-Saver Recipe)

Making your own hand and body cream is not difficult. Just be sure you can work for 30 minutes or so with no interruptions. Be very sure that the essential oils you choose are actually pure essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, etc. Quantities needed for a both a single 4-ounce jar and a large batch of nine 4-ounce jars are given.

10 Tips for Better Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasting enhances the flavor of root vegetables, as long as the vegetables are cut in uniform pieces and aren't crowded in the pan and are roasted in a hot oven.

Bone Broths: Low-Cost, High-Quality Nutrition

Bone broths are all the rage these days. And with good reason! You can find plenty of articles explaining that nourishing bone broths, rich in protein, gelatin and minerals, are soothing to the gut and healthy for bones, skin, hair and joints. And for someone recovering from surgery or illness that needs to be on a very light or liquid diet, bone broths are soothing, light and nutritious.

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 to Build a Mason Bee Hotel

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!

3 Health Benefits of Beets

These beautiful root vegetables make for nutritious additions to any meal. The many health benefits of beets include lowering blood pressure and boosting your physical performance when you exercise.

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.

Cows Without Legs, Part 2: Forage Management

Here is the second half of my strangely-titled discourse on grass cattle management. I have come to the conclusion that on a correctly managed enterprise, cattle should appear not to have legs (hidden within tall grasses). In Part 1, I discussed the animal side of this philosophy. Now I’ll continue with the forage aspect of it.

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.

How to Clean, Melt and Store Beeswax

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!

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.

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.

10 Items to Take to the Bee Yard

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.

Beehive Components: Wooden vs. Plastic

One decision you will need to make when purchasing beehives is whether to use plastic or wooden hives and frames. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss the pros and cons of plastic and wooden hive components for your bees.

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!

What Is All the Buzzzz?

Native bees are a necessary component of maintaining native habitats. Their role is increasingly important as honeybee populations struggle with Colony Collapse Disorder. Learn what you can do to support your local pollinators this spring.

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.

A Beekeeper's Short Story

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.

Cows Without Legs, Part 1: Choosing Genetics and Management for Pastured Beef Production

All the principles of sustainable grazing management can be summarized in one rather strange statement: your cattle should appear not to have legs! Their short legs should be hidden in tall grass. Both animal genetics and pasture management contribute to this philosophy. In this article, I’ll start with cattle selection and care protocols. In Part 2, I will cover forage considerations.

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.

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.

Three Ways to Enjoy Beans

Beans are usually divided into two categories: shell and snap. Shell beans have thicker pods and are typically cultivated for their seeds. Snap beans are harvested before their seeds ripen and are grown for their tasty pods. However, I've discovered there is some leeway in how beans are harvested and used.

Healthy or Sterile?: Creating Biodiverse Systems

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.

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!

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.

Urban Beekeeping

Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.

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.

Three Options to Feed New Honeybee Colonies

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.

Honeybee Swarms

Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary will discuss honeybee swarms, and how to try to prevent your bees from swarming.

Beekeeping How-To: Day 1

The post office has called to say your bees have arrived! Now What? Step-by-step instructions on installing your hive.

Treating Varroa Mites

For the hobby beekeeper, try treating Varroa mites with natural remedies.

First Beehive Inspection of Spring

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!

Me vs. The Bees

Overcoming my personal fears and welcoming the newest addition to our homestead - honeybees

Pollen and Honeybees

Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.

Beeyard Cleanup

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.

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.

Spring Fever

Beekeeping supply arrived, it's light out and I have a fever!

Making Beeswax Candles

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.

Late Winter Honeybee Hive Manipulations

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.

The Importance of Beekeeping

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

Books for a New Beekeeper

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.

Bees of Winter

Describes the winter hive life of the honey bees.

Dealing With Winter Honeybee Withdrawal

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.

Making Beeswax Candles with Molds

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.

Ginger Beer Recipe Remix

Who knew that making a soda so delicious was so darn easy?! This office experiment is our most rewarding yet. I mean, Marlin is cool with his aquaponic system and all, but I definitely don’t want to drink fish water. (See aquaponic blog.) Our ginger beer is so refreshing, surprisingly effervescent and just plain awesome! So you’d like to know how to make it yourself, right? Well, I will gladly share the steps and recipe with you.

Welcome to the World of Beekeeping

North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.

Start Planning Now for Bees in the Spring!

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.

Always Getting Ready on the Homestead

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.

Three Ways to Gauge Pastured Livestock Health

Here are three easy observations you can make every day to see how your animals are performing. Use them to constantly adjust your grazing program, instead of “flying blind” until sale day or weighing. They can help you adjust paddock size or give supplemental nutrients.

For the Beekeeping Newbees!

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

Feeding Honeybees in Winter

When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.

The Beekeeper's Calendar: Maintain A Productive Warré Hive

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.

The New Beekeeper's Calendar: Getting Started Warré Beekeeping

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.

Record Keeping in the Apiary

Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.

8 Natural Bee Sting Treatment Options

To get fast relief, here are eight natural bee or insect sting treatment options you can use at home. You likely have what you need in the kitchen cupboard!

Having Guests Visit Your Beeyard

Having guests visit your beeyard takes a lot of planning and preparation. Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares her experience having visitors in the beeyard, along with some tricks and tips to make the visit go more smoothly for everyone.

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.

Should You Feed Your Bees?

Learn how to keep your bees properly fed and also ensure a plentiful and delicious honey harvest!

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?

Beekeeping Resources

These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.

Soda Can Gift Tags Tutorial

Learn how to make creative, impactful, and (surprisingly) classy DIY gift tags from soda cans and thumbtacks.

The Unsustainability of Local

A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”

Swarm Care

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

Not Your Ordinary Potato Stamp

The traditional potato stamp gets a makeover in this tutorial over how to use a spud to make a work of art (and gratitude).

Avoiding Urban Beekeeping Problems

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.

Dipping Beeswax Candles

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.

Fiesta Beef Potpie Recipe

Beef potpie is a favorite of guests and families alike. This variation is both unusual and delectable.

Weighing a Bee Hive and Improving Dielectric Hygiene

Orchard soil health is a topic that gets covered as well as the new asparagus beetle management system and how it seems to be working better than we could have hoped for. Dielectric grease to prevent rust and corrosion on the golf cart battery post.

Teaching Homesteading--in a Nutshell

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

An Adventure With French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup au Gratin is a delicious, elegant soup, hearty enough for a meal in itself. Using your own homemade beef broth, you can create this soup for your family to enjoy at home.

Australia to Texas: Beekeeping - Part II

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.

Homestead Still Productive During The Drought

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.

Canning Love: Pickled Beets

I'm going to the old Kerr canning book for this tried and true recipe for making simply wonderful pickled beets.

The Trials and Tribulations of Starting a Candle-Making Business

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

Painting a Beehive

James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple

Eating Cicadas and Building a Porch

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.

Can Beekeeping Be Stressful?

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!

British Beekeeping and Its Spring Convention 2012

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.

Learning to Install a Package of Bees

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.

Turkey Traps and Top Bar Hive Modifications

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.

Honey Bees and Easter Eggs

We had a once in a lifetime opportunity over Easter this year to talk to more than 30,000 people about honey bees, pollination, honey and beekeeping. And the place we got to do this in was one of a kind.

Top Bar Hive Experiment

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.

Rooftop Beekeeping Photography

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.

I Just Couldn't Do It

I don't get grossed out very easy - but this special cut of beef made me cringe!

Candle-Making Equipment Arrives!

Iain, working to build his socially responsible candle-making company, gets all his new equipment arriving from Holland.

DIY Electric Fence Wire Holder

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.

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.

Children and Beekeeping

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.

Beekeeping Photography

This is a great first guest post for Geoff Fitzgerald and his beekeeping photography aspirations. Follow his journey here.

A trip to the Almonds in California

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.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Beekeeping

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.

Winter Winners This Year

Winter wasn't very hard this year, well at least so far, and even if it gets more normal winter like, there's not much time left. Our bees have done well, and it looks like it might be a great summer ahead.

Walden Effect joins Mother Earth News

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.

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!

Roots Agriculture

At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.

Gifts for a Beekeeper

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!

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!

Winter In A Top Bar Hive

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.

The New Beekeeper

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.

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.

Stung by Heat and Drought in Texas

During the exceptional heat & drought in Texas this summer BeeWeaver worked hard to just keep hives alive... no honey, no divides.

Performing an Artificial Swarm

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.

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.

A Year in the Round: Weathering the Storm

Pretty much everything I own got soaking wet with the Mama Earf's recent rain bender in Virginia. But on the bright side, I got to see the genius behind the tipi structure firsthand.

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.

How to Make Your Own Beer

This presentation from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash., explains how to get started with homebrewing.

Queen of the Sun: A Must-See Bee Documentary

"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.

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.

4th of July Message to Top Bar Beekeepers...

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 Future of Forests

A bark beetle outbreak is causing widespread damage in Western forests, but we have every reason to believe the forest will recover.

Backyard urban beekeeping

Deciding on urban beekeeping may just mean hosting a hive - some of the honey and none of the work!

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.

Loss of Food Skills Ongoing

The further degradation of our societal food skills are examined here, with small town food craftsmen becoming an endangered species, in this case, my local butcher.

DIY Top Bar Hive

Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!

Photo of the Week: Flower Buzz

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!

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Starts Beekeeping

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.

Bee Venom.. the Good and the Bad

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.

Bee-ginnings

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.

Shifting the Paradigm Toward More Natural Beekeeping

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.

Solar Nite Eyes: How to Protect Your Poultry, Bees and Trees

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.

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.

How Much Protective Clothing Should I Wear While Working Bees?

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?

Beef Scares in 2010

At least four major beef recalls due to E. coli tainted meat occurred in 2010. A substantial percentage of the meat was certified organic. With these beef scares in mind, the fact that Grist readers voted hamburgers as the second scariest food of 2010 comes as no surprise.

Good Wood

Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.

Summer of Turkeys

Recap of 2010 growing season in Northwest Pennsylvania

Summer Loving

Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.

To Industrial Corn, We're Addicted!

Government subsidies to corn growers results in foods that are less expensive then they should be, resulting in people eating more than they normally would.

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.