Building an Insect Hotel

When we ended that last blogpost, we were returning from the Bee Walk, excited about seeing honeybees up close (they’re very gentle, especially when they are foraging, you know), along with an assortment of other pollinators and numerous little green frogs.… Read more

Let’s Do a Bee Walk

Bee Walk? What does that mean? I mean, bees don’t walk much. Some say they “march,” as in marching up into the hive. But they don’t really march, either. Rather, they follow, which is interesting, considering they have the option of flying.Read more

What’s to Eat?

Bee on Leaf
“What’s to eat?”

It’s a phrase that brings me back to when my teenage kids would hang for long periods on the open door of the refrigerator

As we approach late summer, I, too, have to ask, “What is there to eat – for the bees?” (And for that matter, what’s to DRINK?Read more

2013 Garlic Crop Is In!

garlc harvest 2013Yes! The garlic is IN and hangin’ in the shed! It looks great!

With this announcement, I have another – the short version is, there is not much there.

No – it’s not another infestation disaster. Simply, I scaled way back on the number and varieties of bulbs I planted (and scaled way UP in the permaculture / food forest plantings).… Read more

Yellow Tips on Garlic and Other Growing Dilemmas

Garlic in Early June
June 4: The garlic is standing tall and looking strong, despite a few yellow tips.

…or, Good Grief! Give the Bees a Break!

My 5-year-old grandson gave me a special letter the other day. Inside the envelope was a carefully folded (multiple times) picture he had colored of a rad dude on a motorcycle.… Read more

A Gentle Way to Install a Swarm

Round 3 – or is it 4…

It was Mother’s Day. We were headed to our son’s house for a celebratory feast for a room full of mothers. As the matriarch of the group, or at least, the oldest, I had made a kick-A potato salad of grand proportions.… Read more

The Morning After….

When we left our last installment, which appeared to be a swarm off the swarm from the little cedar that took to clustering in the loganberries, we found that capturing the bees off a fencepost was not a particularly easy or smooth operation, particularly compared with the first swarm event where we just encouraged them to move into a new hive.… Read more

The Bee Saga Continues

It’s been a little crazy at the backyard apiary, to say the least.

At the end of our last blogpost, we had a swarm of bees on a small cedar. We provided them options: a swarm “trap” (aka “bait box”) scented with lemongrass oil up in a nearby tree OR an empty hive, complete with the scent of “home” from the previous residents and an indoor supply of sugar syrup to get them started.… Read more

Swarm Alert!

swarm in small cedar tree
The honeybee swarm is draping the little cedar like a living cloak!

In doing the morning garden rounds yesterday, we noticed the little cedar tree over by the beehives looked a bit odd – and as we got closer, we realized, Holey Moley!… Read more

Avoiding Shaken Bee Syndrome

New Bee Package
See the happy beekeeper with her new package of bees (Thank you, Walt Wielbicki, for capturing the excitement in this photo!)

[or How to Completely Botch a Relatively Simple Bee Installation By Making Things WAAY More Complicated than Need Be (bee) (and 1 long video and 3 short ones to show you exactly it’s done!)]

Ok.Read more