Category Bees

The Bee Tree

I knew 2017 would be a good apple year–the trees had only spit out a few lonely blossoms in 2016–but I hadn’t realized HOW good it would be. The tree closest to the house was especially spectacular. It wasn’t just laden with blossoms: It was humming with bees as well. My hives are sadly empty; […]

They’re alive! (Some of them, anyway…)

Today was a marginal day for flying if you’re a bee: breezy, in the low 40’s, with only a few minutes of bright sunlight. Even so, one of my colonies came tumbling enthusiastically out of their top bar hive for a “cleansing flight” (a chance for the bees to finally get out of the hive […]

Good Neighbors and Cozy Bees

As I took advantage of a rare sunny day to haul a bag full of sawdust from my Amish neighbor Jacob’s sawmill–a prize destined to become chicken bedding and then ultimately reincarnated as compost–I reflected on how fortunate I am to have such good neighbors. When my husband and I moved into our house almost […]

More Adventures In and Out of the Hive

After my older colony sent out its second swarm this summer, I decided it was time to take some action. I hoped that rearranging the comb and giving the bees more building space would curb their intense swarminess. (There was an empty space at the end of the hive, but for some reason, the bees […]

The Swarm

I wasn’t surprised when I looked out our basement window a few days ago and saw little dark objects swirling around our apple tree. At first, it was just a few, but soon the air was teeming with madly circling flecks. My eyesight wasn’t keen enough identify them visually, but I knew what they were. […]

Unexpected Honey

For reasons known only to themselves, my older colony of bees had decided to build its honey combs perpendicular to the rest of the comb. This was problematic since it made picking up the combs for inspection impossible, but my husband Paul and I weren’t overly worried. After all, we’d gotten the bees as a […]

Chicken Wisdom

I trudged through the snow in the chicken pen, hoping to hear sounds of life from the beehive in the left hand corner despite the temperatures that were still coquettishly flirting with the freezing mark.  No matter; the hive was nestled in its makeshift straw bale hut, complete with an old door for a roof, […]