Yesterday was so hectic for me. I’ve been getting up so early for my son to catch the bus each and every morning. Yes, I’m that early bird, catching the worm everyday at 5:30 am. I worked for a few hours and then ran tons of errands, went food shopping, played taxi driver for the kiddos, made a homemade lasagna, and I still had a 6 pm meeting at my youngest’s school. By late afternoon, I was beat and running on fumes, but then like a gift for this beekeeper, I came across two bumblebees on my front steps. I had to take a closer peek. What were they doing?
I’m now headed into my 5th year of beekeeping. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite beekeeping tips. Over the years, I’ve learned quite a lot and have had plenty of successes and failures. Some of those were expected and some of those were unexpected. That seems to be the course for keeping bees nowadays. These days it’s not an easy venture, as so many things can affect what happens inside the hive. Today, I thought it would be good to share my top beekeeping tips that I think every newbie should tuck in their back pocket. These tips range from keeping the hives healthy, saving money and learning how to help amazing insects.
Getting bees this year? Here are my top 10 tips for those thinking of starting beekeeping.
This week is the peak of lavender season here at Tilly’s Nest. Lavender and bees go hand in hand.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
About a couple of week’s ago, one of my hives had practically succumb to a complete death. A day or so after I witnessed that, I began the rebuilding by adding a few frames of brood from another hive and two frame of honey. This past week, we combined an early summer nuc that we made with this weak hive with the hopes of a strong hive that will survive the winter. There a variety of reasons why folks combine beehives.