Friday, December 28, 2012

BeekeepingDaily 12.28.2012 - A day or two off

Christmas 2012 is pretty much history.

Unlike two years ago, it didn't snow. It just rained, and then rained some more. That's okay. We needed the rain and will appreciate the outpouring from the skies this spring.

The seed catalogues are beginning to show up, so there is plenty to look at and look forward to.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get at clearing some fence rows at the back of the pasture. It's probably been 20 years since a lot of that has been cleared, and back then it was the cattle that my father-in-law kept that did the clearing.

The cattle are gone, but there is plenty of vegetation -- trees, vines, privet, and the like -- to take their place. If I can convince myself that it will warm up just a tad, I'll be out there.

Meanwhile, here's what the good folks at Google have been gathering for those of us interesting in beekeeping.

Web3 new results for beekeeping
Natural Beekeeping | Walter T. Kelley Blog
When I first started beekeeping folks snickered because I wouldn't treat my bees. I took some pretty hard comments from old time beekeepers and commercial ...
Beekeeping in Western Montana | Walter T. Kelley Blog
As readers have told us they enjoy hearing about beekeeping in areas different from their own, we asked him to tell us about beekeeping challenges in an area ...
Beginning Beekeeping Class at Sacramento County Cooperative ...
Get details for Beginning Beekeeping Class, including date, start time, driving directions and more. Find other - Workshops & Classes events in Sacramento, CA.

News1 new result for beekeeping
County eases restrictions on beekeeping
Napa Valley Register
The Napa County Beekeepers Association devised some best-management practices for beekeeping, which directs that hives should be kept as far away from neighborhoods as possible to keep them from being a nuisance. The association promotes using ...
See all stories on this topic »

Blogs1 new result for beekeeping
Southeastern CT Now Offers Beginner Beekeeping Class ...
By Bree Shirvell
Denison Farm Market Master and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center partner up to offer a beginner beekeeping class.
Waterford Patch
Web1 new result for beekeeping
Beekeeping at Home with To-Bee
Beekeeping at home has never looked so good with this new design from students at the Bexalel Academy of Arts and Design.
Blogs1 new result for beekeeping
Ask the Beekeeper: Where Have All the Honeybees Gone? | Care2 ...
Jennifer Sonntag is NRDC's resident beekeeper. Here she talks about why we need honeybees, the issues they're facing right now and what it's like to be a beekeeper in the middle of busy New York City.
Care2 Causes

Web1 new result for beekeeping
Introduction to Beekeeping / February 16 - Fairview Gardens
This beginning beekeeper's class will introduce participants to the respectful and organic ways of keeping honeybees. Overall focus will home in on the unique ...

Friday, December 21, 2012

BeekeepingDaily 12.21.2012: Catching up

Well, not so daily, is it, when I manage to skip a daily. Still trying to catch up. Enjoy two day's worth of beekeeping news in one from our friends at Google News alerts:

Five-week, apprentice Master Beekeeper sessions slated for Everett
EVERETT, Wash. – A majority of the foods we eat depend on honeybees for pollination. Without healthy bee populations, our fruit and vegetables would be ...
Beekeeping at Isles | Isles, Inc.
Hopewell and Trenton Beekeepers Partner to Raise Bees in Downtown Trenton! Read More.

Beekeeper from Israel
Shalom everyone, I am the Israeli beekeeping and hive products forum manager. I am new here and always looking to learn from beekeepers around the world.
The Beekeeper's Bible by Richard A. Jones and Sharon Sweeny ...
[img][/ img] [size=18 ...
Backwards Beekeepers: Getting a new beekeeper going
Michael is a new Backwards Beekeeper in LA. He and his wife Vinh have a great urban farm setup in Glassell Park with lots of happy chickens, vegetables, fruit ...


The spring-like weather that we have been having lately turned normal yesterday evening with some cold temperatures. They were ushered in by high winds that could have endangered the hives. Fortunately, when I got up this morning, everything was in tact. All the hives were still standing.

A blown-over hive is no fun for bees or beekeeper -- as anyone who has deal with one can attest.

I had to put one back together this spring, and while the bees had calmed down when I got to them, I knew they had gotten wet, which is the thing the bees hate the most.

I sometimes think about anchoring the hives and would certainly do so if high winds were a regular occurrence around here. They are not, and for that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BeekeepingDaily 12.19.12: Encouragement for African beekeepers

Not much news today. Folks still pushing beekeeping for farms in Africa. Good idea:

Beekeeping Pays, Pinda Tells Mpanda Residents
PRIME Minister Mizengo Pinda has reiterated his call for farmers to actively engage themselves in beekeeping, saying it requires minimum capital, and yet yields huge profits. Addressing wananchi in Mpanda and Mlele Districts yesterday, Mr Pinda ...
See all stories on this topic »
Well, the horse doesn't look too embarrassed.

Personal note:

I went horseback riding for the first time in DECADES.

Glad to report that I embarrassed neither myself nor the horse. Photo accompanies.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

BeekeepingDaily 12.18.12: Urban beekeeping in Australia

The good folks at Google sending us news reports of beekeeping here there and everywhere has passed along this report on urban beekeeping in Australia.

Urban buzz about beekeeping - YouTube
It's been called liquid gold and home grown honey - the new trend in some Australian cities ...

 Here's the intro from the Australian TV network:

Published on 11 Dec 2012 by

It's been called liquid gold and home grown honey - the new trend in some Australian cities.

From rooves above restaurants to inner city balconies, there's a buzz around amateur bee keeping.

And while it's sweet, it's also playing a role in Australia's bio-security. . .

Monday, December 17, 2012

BeekeepingDaily: Dec. 17, 2012

A nice profile of Florida beekeeper Robert Bell is included in today's links:

  • Bell, who operates Bell Apiaries, said the reasons for the decline [of bees] are numerous and include pesticides, weather, an illness called Colony Collapse Disorder, and parasites that attach themselves to the bees and kill them. 

The latest from our friends at the Google alter system:

News1 new result for beekeeping
Beekeeper Buzzing to Battle Decline in Hives |
News Chief
The likes of Fleetwood Mac, Don McLean and Jimmy Buffett subtly pipe through the stereo as he drives along roads outside phosphate mining areas, describing just what it is he does as a beekeeper and how important it is to the survival of agriculture.
See all stories on this topic »

Web1 new result for beekeeping
Beginning Beekeeping Course | Keokuk County
Beginning Beekeeping 8 week course to be offered at the Keokuk County Extension Office on Thursday evenings from 6pm to 8pm starting on January 17, 2013 ...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Settling in for winter, waiting to see what happens

The garden is plowed, the cold weather has begun, and the bees are -- mostly -- in the hives.

Cold weather in East Tennessee, of course, doesn't mean what it does in Nebraska or Vermont. We're waking up this December to some heavy frosts, with temps in the upper 20s at best, and then looking forward to early afternoon highs around 55 or 60.

So, to lots of folks, this ain't cold.

Still, it's the best we can do down here close to the Smokies, and we'll take whatever comes along.

We're down to six Langstroth hives and two topbars. The Langstroths appear to have plenty of bees, but I'm not so sure about the topbars. The Langstroths have plenty of feed on them at the moment, and we put some protein patties on the topbars, so we will see what happens.

That's what beekeepers do most of the time: wait to see what happens.

Would that it were otherwise, but one thing beekeeping teaches you is to take the long view. There have been years (too many) where there were no bees in the hives at all. The spring couldn't come soon enough in those sad seasons.

Now, however, I can take some comfort in the fact that I need a rest from the bees, and they undoubtedly need a rest from me.

We'll leave it at that right now, and continue to do what beekeepers do.

Here's how things look in the freshly plowed garden:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter around the farm

Here's a slideshow (with music from brother-in-law Frank) of what the day was like on the farm: