The Buzz From The County Fair

Late July and early August is county fair season, and I love county fairs.  What’s not to love?  Hot dog eating contests, horse shows, quilt displays, an array of fried food, demolition derbies, and all sorts of competitions related to crafts and agriculture can be found at the county fair.  This year I visited three county fairs in the north central region of Kentucky to check out the entries in the honey competitions.   Continue reading

People Are Training Bees to Play Soccer!

Maybe you missed this tidbit in the news, so let me catch you up.  A group of researchers has been training bees to do tricks, aka “nonnatural object manipulation.”  Last Saturday evening I was searching through a scientific journal for articles about bees.  (Reading articles about bees is our idea of a fun Saturday night, and it is a big reason why my husband and I can get by with a very low entertainment budget.)  Imagine my surprise when I read a title in the journal PLOS Biology called, “Associated Mechanisms Allow for Social Learning and Cultural Transmission of String Pulling in an Insect.”  Continue reading

Could Beekeeping Save the US Political System?

The summer dearth is upon us, and there is not much to do in the hives except to keep feeding the bees syrup.  Doug did a walk away split a few weeks ago, and I will write about that once we know how the story ends.  I started visiting county fairs to see honey entries, and you can expect a post on that in a few weeks.  While the beekeeping activities are in a bit of a lull, I took the opportunity to reflect upon the past 6 months when we immersed ourselves in beekeeping.  The bees are wonderful and fascinating, but I discovered that beekeepers are just as wonderful and fascinating!  Here is what my experience has been over the last 6 months: Continue reading

Beeswax and Eczema

Eczema has derailed my summer.  In April, I started noticing an itchy rash on my wrists, backs of hands, forearms and neck.  I thought it was either a rash related to too much sun or a reaction to a new sunscreen.  April was busy with outdoor projects, and I received quite a lot of sun exposure and went through a lot of sunscreen.  The rash would not go away in spite of treatment with various topical over the counter products.  Continue reading

How We Installed Our First Nuc…And What We Would Do Differently

April 2018 was a time of great anticipation.  Doug and I ordered 2 nucs of bees to begin our beekeeping adventure.  The local supplier we used sold both Italian and Russian bees.  We carefully selected Italian bees, and by carefully selected I mean we asked the guy at the store known as The Bee Man, “What do you recommend for new beekeepers?”  He sighed, paused 2 seconds and said, “Go with the Italians.”  That conversation was back in February when we ordered our bees.  In late April, we received a call that our two nucs were ready for pickup.   Continue reading