Category / Beekeeping

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Beekeeping Hive Maintainance

A Mouse in the Beehive

Earlier this fall I learned that one of my weaker beehives had succumb to wax moths.

It was awful and disgusting. So I removed some of the salvageable frames that I could and cleaned them up as best I could. I placed them into the deeps and put them off to the side- outside near the garden shed. I wanted them to air out, freeze any remaining larvae, and give them time before I placed them in the shed.

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Beekeeping DIY Hive Maintainance

Seasonal Recipes for Feeding Honeybees

As beekeepers, there come times when we need to feed our bees or offer them up reserves to help them get through dearths and winter. New colonies should be fed so that they can quickly build out new comb for the queen to lay and for them to store their foraged pollen and nectar.  Existing colonies also require feeding, especially a back up method to help ensure their winter survival. Today I thought that I would place these all recipes in one place for you to easily find them.

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Beekeeping Bees DIY

How to Catch A Honeybee Swarm

 Tilly's Nest- honeybee swarm (1)wp

Today I learned how to catch a honeybee swarm. I keep two beehives across town at my Mom’s house. Her father was a beekeeper so when I asked about keeping a couple of hives at her place, she and my step-dad were quite supportive of the idea. It reminded her of growing up as a little girl. For the past 3 years, two of my hives have lived at my Mom’s.

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Beekeeping Bees

Dealing with Mean Bees

nice bees can become mean bees if the conditions are wrong
I have a cranky beehive. They’re what I call mean bees. It’s not fun when this happens. They are down right nasty. They chase me from the vegetable garden and I can’t go on the side of the property with the hive or they hit me in the head and bat at my face until I leave the vicinity. No matter the time of day or the weather they are just mad.  Surely they’d love to sting me if they had the chance but I’m no dummy and I’m choosing to avoid them or garden in a full bee suit. Note: Gardening in a bee suit is like working in a sauna. It’s very hot and sweaty!

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Beekeeping Chickens Gardening Hive Maintainance Tours

Blizzard Juno 2015: Day After

The Nor’easter lasted over 24 hours. It began Monday afternoon and finally let up on Wednesday morning. After 60 mph wind gusts with white out conditions, we were able to finally get outside to assess the damage. We all had cabin fever at that point and wanted to make sure that everyone weathered the storm. First up was the chicken coop. I started up the snowblower and began to clear a path. We shoveled out the smaller path to the coop.

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Beekeeping Bees

A World Without Bees

Earlier this week I accompanied the kids on a school field trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. We reached a point where a woman was giving a demonstration on electricity and electromagnetic currents. One by one as each of the kids in my group took turns placing their hands upon this large metal sphere and watching their hairs stand on end, I could not help but notice an exhibit just inches away from where I was standing.

Tillys-Nest-winter-honeybee-cluster
Beekeeping Bees Hive Maintainance

Winter Peeking: The Honeybee Cluster

winter honeybee cluster
The honeybees cluster in a ball for warmth in the winter. The queen is in the very center, kept toasty at 95 degrees. The cluster expands and moves during warmer days and contracts tightly and stays put in freezing temps.

Last week it was a balmy day in December, 50 degrees. Weird for us, but the bees were happy and flying outside the hive. They were taking cleansing flights and exploring a bit around the yard. I found a few perched on the birdbath taking in a bit of water. It was the perfect day to go in and check on their sugar supplies that I had added to the hive only a couple of months ago. I was curious what the winter honeybee cluster would look like.

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Beekeeping Bees Videos

Honeybee Flights in December

Happy December first. Today is an unusually beautiful sunny day in the sixties here on Cape Cod. Last week we had some cooler temperatures in the lower forties and high thirties but today is a very good bee day. The honeybees were so happy to have the sun warm their hives. In fact, the activity was bustling by the hives this morning. I took a moment to take a quick video to share.

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Beekeeping DIY Hive Maintainance

DIY: Winter Beehive Quilting Box

Today I want to share with you how to make a quilting box for your hive. As a beekeeper you already know that excess moisture in the hive is never a good thing, especially in the cooler weather when the bees are more prone to harm and death from living in a wet environment. During the winter the bees are still active in their cluster. They keep a small bit of brood alive and focus on over wintering their queen. Despite the outside temperatures, the center of the cluster must remain 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The bees do this by taking turns on the outside of the cluster and flapping their wings to generate heat. During this process their warm air mixes with surrounding colder air and naturally creates condensation in the hive. Usually this moisture collects on the lid of the inner cover and turns into water droplets. Those droplets then drip down into the hive, creating a condition incompatible with life.