Hang A Bee On Your Tree!

A bee ornament is a natural addition to your Christmas tree. These ornaments range from the silly to the sublime! All are available online.

download-1.jpg

 

bee ornament 1

bee 13

Breen-Late-Night-Being-There-a

bee 10

bee ornament 2

b 4

bee 11

bee 7

De_Carlini_Mr_bee_Italian_glass_Christmas_ornament_t

mrs. bee

And of course we can’t forget our Batty friends!

12308-clip-on-bat12308cliponbat

68382-mysterious-bat68382mysteriousbat

Bee Business On A Roof

I thought rooftop beekeeping was something new. Not so! Here’s an article about a rooftop apiary circa 1912. Fascinating!!

Check out more historical honeybee articles at https://www.facebook.com/Historical.Honeybee.Articles

bee business 1

beebusiness 2

Beautiful Beekeeping – Permaculture Playing Cards

Permaculture Bees

Good advice!  And this is just one card out of a deck of Permaculture Playing Cards.

How do you tell people what permaculture is? If you give them a book, they might look at a few pictures.  If you send them a link to something they tend to save it for later.  The idea of the deck of cards is that they might browse it like a book – but this is all pictures and just a few words.  Much easier to browse.  And hopefully convey a bigger picture in a smaller package.

playing cards

If you want to explore this subject further and/or purchase a deck of Permaculture Playing Cards, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/permaculture-playing-cards

Summertime

Summertime,
And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Oh, Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry

One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky

But until that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy standing by

056

058060065074

Happy Bees!

My two new hives of Buckfast bees had a rocky start.

005

They hated the plastic foundation I was using and built comb almost everywhere else.  From the ceiling of the Hive cover mostly…

The bees are happy even if I'm not...

The bees are happy even if I’m not…

I replaced the plastic foundation with wax and they were a bit happier.  Not a pretty sight from the inside however.

Now Hive Number Two seems to have slipped a bit from its moorings. This will be fixed ASAP.

001

The good news is that both hives are happy and healthy and prospering!  I couldn’t ask for anything more!!

004

Warning! My Hive Stands Aren’t Really Wicker!!

The hive stands aren't really wicker.

The hive stands aren’t really wicker.

Simon Kurtz of Kurtz Acres asked me a very good question.  Was I worried about my “wicker” hive stands being able to support the weight of full hives which can easily weigh in the hundreds of pounds?

I would be worried if my stands were actually wicker.  They’re not.

Pier One Hive Stand

They’re  all-weather ottomans of synthetic wicker over a durable iron frame.  They’re fully capable of supporting a heavy hive. I found them at Pier One.

So, if you want to copy my look, PLEASE don’t use real wicker, or if you do, make sure it is fully supported from below with bricks or a concrete block.

And many thanks to Simon for bringing up the subject. I would hate to be the cause of a beekeeping debacle out there!!

My Bees Are In Their New Homes!

The New Hives

The New Hives

Well, for the most part. At least they’re around their new homes…

Even though my new bees arrived yesterday, I decided to wait until today to hive them because it got down to 28 degrees Farenheit last night.  The rest of this week (and with luck, the rest of this season!) is supposed to be above freezing.

I had plenty to do yesterday though, what with setting up the hives, gathering up all my equipment and putting the bees’ sugar syrup into quart glass jars with lids. That’s something new I came up with this year to make the syrup easier to handle.

One of the most important rules of beekeeping is to never leave sugar syrup out in the open around a hive, even for a minute. Sugar syrup attracts robbing insects of all kinds. I learned that the hard way. (Come to think of it, I’ve learned most everything about beekeeping the hard way…)

This year I loaded up a recyclable grocery bag with 4 quart jars of sugar syrup – easy to handle and hermetically sealed!

It was fun having the bees in my kitchen last night. They really do go to sleep. I made sure to turn off all the kitchen lights so they could have a good rest before Moving Day!

Today was perfect for installing a package. Temperature in the 50’s, no wind and partly cloudy. I’m more comfortable around my bees when I’m wearing a full bee suit, so the cooler the day, the better for me. Those bee suits are hot!

The bees still in the box will eventually make it into the hives by themselves.

The bees still in the box will eventually make it into the hives by themselves.

I would love to tell you that I was the picture of beekeeping professionalism. Not so much.

At least I didn’t hop around like I had St. Vitus’ Dance like I did the first time I installed a package. Oh, for a video of that performance!

But there are things I don’t remember until I start the installation process. Like how hard it is to get the frigging bee package open. And pry out the feeding can. And find the Queen cage. And jimmy out the cork at the end.

The frigging box should come with a handy hatchet to help open it!

The frigging box should come with a handy hatchet to help open it!

And get the frigging bees out of the box and into the hive. (I did what I usually do – just left the box there and let them move in by themselves. They’ll go anywhere the Queen is residing.)

And not squish too many. (Oh, the humanity!!)

It didn’t help that my back garden is slightly less steep than Mt. Everest and I put the new hives at the bottom.

The view down Mt. Everest...

The view down Mt. Everest…

The Mean Bees live at the top of the garden, and have clearly indicated that they don’t want any next door neighbors, even if they’re relatives.

The Mean Bees at the top of the garden

The Mean Bees at the top of the garden

But, all in all, a good day on Columbia Parkway!!

P.S. No, I didn’t get stung.  I usually don’t when hiving a package. My average is two stings per season, both while I am in the process of doing something stupid. 🙂

Beautiful Beehives Of The Day – Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf-Astoria-bee-hive-on-the-roof-of-the-Waldorf-Astoria Waldorf-Astoria-bee-hives-on-roof_2 Bee-hives-on-the-roof-of-the-Waldorf-Astoria Executive-chef-David-Garcelon-on-the-roof-of-the-Waldorf-Astoria

Honey bees are permanent guests of the Waldorf Astoria

The historic Manhattan property, known as the inn of choice for heads of state, has installed six beehives in a rooftop space on the 20th floor that also serves as a chef’s garden.

The Waldorf Astoria’s director of culinary operations, David Garcelon, spearheaded the initiative and has incorporated the honey produced by his bees into dishes served at the hotel’s restaurants.

The Waldorf is only one of a long string of hotels taking in bees. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, for instance, has more than a dozen properties with beehives on-site.

Hotels are increasingly adding locally sourced food to their menus, and beekeeping allows them to produce organic honey for food and cocktails. The hotels also say they are helping to save the species.