December 21, 2014

Work Smarter, Not Harder

5 Gallon Honey Bucket - Image courtesy of The Honey Exchange

This article is mainly for parttimers, not you big people with rooms full of stainless-steel equipment and vacuum pumps. Bucket Handling As I extracted last season’s late honey crop, I often found myself lifting buckets, whether up onto a strainer perched on another bucket, or up to the countertop for bottling. Long ago, at EAS in Delaware, the honey show included a Gadgets category, and a … [Read more...]

Myths of Beekeeping

Myths of Beekeeping

As you learn more each year about the bees, you may come across some strange ideas. Most of these weird concepts come from a friend, who heard it from a friend. Usually they make complete sense when you hear them, but later, you may wonder (about the weird idea, not the friend). Here are a few myths of beekeeping which have been perpetuated over the years, and are hard to kill. Myth #1: You need … [Read more...]

Preparing for Swarm Season

Front view of a hivebody-style bait hive for catching swarms; the vertical board is for nailing and/or tying to a tree trunk or other structure. The hardware cloth on the front entrance is there to prevent mice from moving in. PHOTO: ANNE FREY

Making Your Own Bait Hives Now that you’re finished with your winter of building and repairing supers, brood boxes and frames, think about the possibility of building bait hives in preparation for the May/ June swarm season. A bait hive is a swarm-catching box. I have captured some nice swarms in boxes set in trees, and it seems easier than answering a swarm call, which may come at an … [Read more...]

What to Do with Crystallized Honey in Combs

Crystallized Honey in Combs

If you’re like most of us, some of your hives died this winter or spring. Assuming you know what American Foul Brood evidence looks like, and know there is none, you may use the hive’s combs for future bees. Some combs, especially higher in the hive, may still have honey in them. It will be crystallized, which looks like wet white granules in the cells instead of thick clear liquid honey. The … [Read more...]

Why Is It Called a Super?

Hive Bodies - Courtesy of The Honey Exchange in Portland

With all the terms and jargon that go with beekeeping, knowing the underlying meaning of words may help you remember their uses. Beware of the lazy verbal trap of calling every box a super. According to the dictionary, a definition of “super” is: A prefix from Latin, with the basic meaning “above, beyond.” Words formed with super- have the following general senses: “to place or be placed above … [Read more...]

Care and Feeding of a Beekeeping Mentor

beekeeping-mentor-thumbnail

A mentor is a person who can show you their hives, look in your hives, and/or answer questions via email and phone. If you’ve only ever read books, listened to presentations, viewed slides, mucked about on your own, or watched — God forbid — YouTube, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can learn after getting a mentor. The key ingredient needed for learning about bees? Work with bees. That makes … [Read more...]

Time to Consider the Big Honey Show at EAS 2012 in Vermont

"Queenline" Jar for Honey Show Entry

How do your honey, candles, mead, photos and baked goodies stack up? Bring your entries with you to EAS in Burlington and show them off! In past EAS conferences, sometimes the Honey Show has been skipped or pared down, but this year, Mike Palmer is going all-out. He is gathering sponsors and judges and is determined to have every category possible filled with as many entries as possible. Let’s … [Read more...]