Archive for the 'bees' Category


Saturday, May 21st, 2016

So the bees have been weird lately. First, despite my best efforts (checkerboarding the brood frames, adding on multiple supers which they persist in completely ignoring) both Darjeeling and Lady Grey swarmed. In fact Lady Grey produced two swarms. Which both obligingly rested side by side on a smooth vinyl fence and made for the very easiest bee […]

Supers installed, colonies limping

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Took advantage of the gorgeous weather this week to go out to the bee yard. Here in Maryland we have a very short, very intense honey flow from April 15th to May 15th, and that’s about it for the year. If honey is going to be made, it’s pretty much got to be made in that […]

Super honey supers

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

I got a sweet deal on a table saw last Fall – a brand-new, in-original-packaging Skilsaw model for $40. Sure, it’s dinky and light and not accurate enough for really fine woodworking, but it gives me so much more freedom to create larger projects. Especially ones from plywood. With three hives overwintered, my new problem is […]

The bees are back

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

For the first time since 2009, I’ve overwintered 100% of my 3 bee colonies. (MD has the highest rate in the nation of colony collapse disorder.) As I checked mid-March, they were all three alive and queenright and even had frames of honey left. The two largest were churning out brood so fast I had […]

We’re ready!

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Spent the afternoon getting my little barnyard all tucked up and cozy before the big Blizzard ’16 strikes. First on my list: preventing cold drafts. Birds can stand cold temperatures in their massive feather coats, but not so much a chilling breeze or condensation. With that in mind, I put up a whole bunch of weatherstripping […]

Filling the candy boards

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Time to fill the candy boards (and finally bust out that 25-pound Costco sack of sugar I bought for this months and months ago). Because there’s some controversy over whether serving the bees cooked sugar is chemically good for them, I chose instead to use a tip from Rusty over at I filled these […]

Insulating the bees

Monday, January 11th, 2016

I spent this weekend making quilts for my beehives… Quilt boards, that is! Quilt boards are basically very very shallow supers that are filled with clean organic matter like dry leaves or wood chips. They’re sandwiched between the top of the bee cluster and the bottom of the metal cover. The quilt board’s purpose is to catch […]

Bees need a drink too; or, how I got back my swimming pool this summer.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

This was a really dry summer. I mean really dry. I’m not big into watering, more of a cross-my-fingers-and-hope-it-rains kind of gal, but even I had to give in a few times to save most of the plants on Backfill Hill. And even with the livestock waterers hooked up to 55 gallon water containers, I was […]

Ladies and gentlemen: The Queen.

Friday, July 31st, 2015

I was smiling ear to ear during this last nuc inspection. Why? Can you see it? How about a closer shot: Eggs! Those little things that look like tiny grains of rice, stuck end-on in the bottoms of the cells? Future bees! Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a Queen! Woooo! This little nuc has 6 fully […]


Monday, July 20th, 2015

The little bee nuc is doing well! The last time I checked, they had capped the couple queen cells that had eggs in them, so I’m hopeful that there’s more than one queen developing. Whichever queen survives ought to emerge next weekend and start laying in another week or two. So I’ll wait to look for eggs until […]