Category Archives: beekeeping

Favorite Photos from 2019

The temperature outside as I type is 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C).  The worst part about winter in Kentucky is that all of January and most of February is gray.  Glimpses of the sun are rare.  Everybody gets depressed and ill tempered probably because we are all starved for vitamin D.  Winter brings an extra layer of frustration since I developed eczema.  The cold, dry air makes eczema worse, and I am unable to wear sweaters because they aggravate my skin.  I just keep layering long sleeve cotton t-shirts to fortify myself against the cold.  To counter my gray mood, I scrolled through my 2019 pictures and am sharing my favorites with you.  Think of this post as honey flavored eye candy.  Enjoy. Continue reading

“Alexa, Order Honey Bees.”

This is the post to read if you ever wondered how beekeepers get their bees.  January and February are the months when astute beekeepers place their orders for the bees they need in the spring.  Hopefully established beekeepers won’t need to order bees because their colonies survived the winter.  Sometimes an established beekeeper will still order new bees because they want to expand or they want to introduce different genetics into their colonies.  Beekeepers have multiple options for ordering bees. Continue reading

Creating a Large Scale Pollinator Habitat and Conservation Area

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  Doug and I have a huge project starting in 2020 that we are happy to share with you.  We are creating a 26 acre conservation area and pollinator habitat.  This is unlike anything we have ever done before, but if Morgan Freeman, can do it so can we.  (In case you didn’t know, Morgan Freeman recently converted his 124 acre ranch in Mississippi to a bee sanctuary.  I am a huge Morgan Freeman fan.  He actually helped me learn to read thanks to his work on the Electric Company.)

Continue reading

Checking for Signs of Life

Winter is the nervous season for beekeepers.  December is the month that I prepare to celebrate Christmas and the month that I begin to obsess about whether our bees are alive or dead.  My anxieties were further fueled this month when another Kentucky beekeeper posted on Facebook that she found one of her colonies had died.  What was happening to our bees?  The bees’ unknown condition continuously stoked my anxiety.  Continue reading

Do This in Winter If You Want to Start Keeping Bees This Spring

Hobby beekeeping has become extremely popular.  Lately honey bees have been getting more press than the Kardashians, and suddenly it is fashionable to keep bees.  Even mainstream stores like Tractor Supply now sell bees and beekeeping equipment.  (I know some of you may not consider Tractor Supply mainstream, but it is a much bigger retailer than the niche beekeeping supply stores.  If you think pole beans, country ham and cornbread make a great dinner, you will most likely agree that Tractor Supply is a mainstream retailer.)  Beekeeping can be daunting.  The initial set up expense to buy the basic equipment and bees will be at least $500.  Next you need to know what to do when a 3 lb package of bees arrives at your door step.   The best time to prepare to be a beekeeper is in the winter when you don’t have bees.  I have prepared a list for anyone thinking about starting beekeeping for the first time.  Do these things over the winter, and you will maximize your chances for a successful first year. Continue reading

Beeswax and Eczema – Part II

One of the great features of having a WordPress website is that you can see which search terms lead people to your website.  The search terms are a helpful way to find out what interests readers.  I wrote a post in July 2018 about how I was using a topical beeswax salve to manage my eczema.  (Click here if you haven’t read the original post.)  That post must have resonated with people because every month people are finding my site because of that post.  Here is the update on how things are going for me and my skin 16 months later. Continue reading

Creating a Monarch Waystation

Snow is covering the ground here, and the bees are all clustered around their respective queens keeping them warm for the winter.  Just before the really cold weather hit, Doug installed quilt boxes and inserted winter patties into each hive.  Quilt boxes contain burlap and wood shavings that can absorb condensation.  Moisture is a killer of bees in the winter.  The bee cluster stays about 80 degrees F, and moisture can condense on the inner cover of the hive.  The quilt box catches the condensation instead of letting it drip back onto the bees.  Most of our bees have lots of stored honey, but the winter patties are an extra source of nutrition just in case they need it.  Since the bees are all snuggled in for the winter, I decided to write about what I have been doing to transform my flower garden into a monarch waystation. Continue reading