Beekeeping Feed

Around Here...

Fall collage
The colors are reflecting the change in the seasons from summer to fall.  Our weather has been rather extreme, hot and humid one day, then cold and rainy another.  

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The garden is producing.  We have had a stretch of warm and humid days which has helped to ripen tomatoes.  I have never has so many ripe tomatoes in the fall!  I have been busy canning tomatoes and making and canning salsa to line our pantry shelves for our family to enjoy.

IMG_0328The bees are hanging in there.  The nectar flow has pretty much ceased in our neck of the woods.  The warm weather has kept the bees active, but hungry.  I made a sloppy candy board with a pollen patty and consolidated the bees into one super recently as I start to prepare and transition them with hope that this colony will make it through our long winter ahead.

Other happenings:

Athletics
We are keeping busy following our children in their athletic endeavors.  Fall extra curricular include cross-country running, a kids marathon race and flag football.

RaceI ran too!   I returned to the running scene and completed a local half marathon after having a competition hiatus for the last 13 or so years.  It felt good to accomplish this goal.

BdaySince I have last posted we have also celebrated this special boy's 8th birthday!  

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Oh how our life is rich and full!  This mindful practice of reflecting upon still images serves as a reminder of all of the beauty in my life, especially on difficult days. This simple practice fills me with gratitude and evokes feelings of joy and love.   I invite you to play along.


Beekeeping - August

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Somehow I found myself with just one child in the house and we took it as an opportunity for this curious 7 year old to do some beekeeping apprenticeship on our sod roof apiary.   I have determined the bees are not making any extra honey for us this year.  Which is not atypical for a first year hive.  I put a honey super on a couple of weeks ago with high hopes, but now I am just going to set my hopes to winter over this hive so they have a solid foundation for year two.  Even though our bees do not put us in the honey business, we do learn from them.  I was happy to share this experience today with one of my children.  He seemed to enjoy himself as well!


Inside My Beehive - late July

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7:24 -6Yesterday afternoon I took a peek into my beehive, to check on progress.   I found evidence of eggs, larva and many healthy worker bees.  There is nectar and some honey stores.  I did put on a honey super, but so far they have not made any honey to share with me, which is pretty typical of a first year hive, especially in northern climates.  I was pleasantly surprised with a picking of wild raspberries that were abundant on the sod-rooftop where we keep the hive.

I continue to enjoy learning about bees and local flowers and wildlife with the experience of beekeeping.  I hope you enjoy following along!


the garden, the blues and the bees

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6:27 3After several days of cool weather and rain (Sunday we fired up our wood stove it was so cold), we finally had a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors.  We filled it up with a morning outing to a nearby beach then more time outdoors at home, whereas this mama tended to the garden and bees then hiked up our back ridge with the kids in search of ripe berries.  I usually find a few blues before the 4th of July, last year at this time we found a few more than we did today, but we did find some!   It has been a great day to experience the sunshine.


Inside my beehive - mid-June

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IMG_3068Here are just a couple of snapshots from the workings inside my beehive.  They are making progress with their colony size and there are some honey stores (not much, but some).  I am keeping a close eye, monitoring and treating for Varroa in effort to build them up as strong as they can be.   

 


Around Here...

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These last weeks of school are a whirlwind.  With my own responsiblities and happenings as well as those of our family (our four children are getting busier and moving in all of their own directions with there interests and activities) I have not found that much time for updating this space.

However, I am taking a few minutes today to share a snapshot of my garden that I just planted.  You may notice I went all out with weed covering this year.

I also am sharing some pictures from my hive investigation this morning, I was happy to see things moving along with the bees.  They are doing what they are suppose to do - and it is a privilege for me to watch, nurture and help them out in my own little way.

Signing off for now -

Happy Weekending Friends!


Welcome back bees!

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Bees 2What is wrong with this picture?  Snow!   It is however spring in Northern Minnesota.   We do not exactly welcome snow in late April, but we cannot rule it out.  

As you can tell from the images above I am giving beekeeping a go this year, starting again with a nucleus colony of bees to get as much of a head start as I can given our limited season in my northern Minnesota north woods.

They are installed and already settling into their new home.  I am already enjoying the familiar sights, sounds and smells of the beekeeping experience, happy to welcome bees back into our hobby farm - and the experience of learning about them - and from them back into my life.


inside my beehive - August

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I spent a little time with my friends the bees late this afternoon, investigating their progress for the month of August.  I found lots of healthy bees!  

This particular hive is pretty frisky.  I try to emanate a sense of calm, but these bees tend to get aggravated easily and they show it by swarming around my head and face and hitting up against my veil...in large groups.  

So today's investigation was pretty quick, I just pulled out some frames from the top super, took some snapshots, then retreated to my garage armed with my smoker and bee suit.  My plan is to keep the honey in the hive for the bees going into the winter and we will see if they make it through.  I will probably check on them again at the end of September before I bundle them up for the winter. 

I will keep you posted on the progress!


inside my beehive - June

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 capped cells of brood (worker bee larva growing inside)

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 The more bubbly, extended brood is drone brood, the hive needs workers  -not drones at this point.

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    lot's of nectar, but not a surplus amount of capped honey 

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a healthy amount of beesIMG_0135

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 Sharing a couple of snapshots of a recent investigation of my beehive.  

They seem to be doing just fine - not especially great, but not anything to really worry about either.  

There is evidence of brood, nectar, honey and plenty of bees. I am content and eager to follow the development of this colony of bees throughout the summer.

I hope you enjoy tagging along!