August 27, 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...]

Kenya Top-Bar Hives: We should not be setting “new-bees” up for certain failure

Brood Comb in a (Kenya) Top Bar Hive in Maine

8 Dec 2011/Jan 2012 Thank you, thank you, thank you Anne Frey for your very informative article with your opinion on the Kenya top bar hive (The Bee Line, vol. 29, #5). It is something I have wanted to write about for some time, and I eagerly waited for your article — well done! Now I can share my views along with yours and other documented facts. I too have communicated with Tony Jadczak … [Read more...]

Are you Ready? (Normal vs. Allergic Reactions to Insect Stings)

yellow jacket

As beekeepers, we are sometimes expected to help out with unforeseen events. We help the neighbors with nuisance wasps, hornets and yellow-jackets. We are asked to help fellow beekeepers, catch swarms and maybe even cut out a colony from a building. But we also have to be ready for the unexpected. This summer, as a full-time teacher, I had a couple months off to regroup, think about the next year … [Read more...]

The Backyard Beekeeper in Winter 2009-2010

Rick Cooper, Master Beekeper of Bowdoinham, ME

by Rick Cooper, Master Beekeeper Many of us look at the winter months as a time to take off from beekeeping. The rest look at the winter as a time to complete all the things we did not do during those busy summer months. How many of you sharpened your hive tool or cleaned out that smelly old smoker? The even more important question: How many of you have an item that should be repaired … [Read more...]

Alternative Beekeeping: Learning beekeeping in person, through clubs and classes and through a strong mentoring network

Plastic foundation

“Alternative Beekeeping” is increasingly of interest, particularly among new beekeepers. Many are coming to the craft, heeding a call for new caretakers for the bees, understanding that there are forces at work that are causing our honey bee colony numbers to diminish— rapidly. Many of these new beekeepers are understandably looking for a different way to keep their bees—and many are learning … [Read more...]

Why Are You Here?

Laying worker eggs in SARE #24

By Master Beekeeper Carol Cottrill New beekeepers in our classes always ask how often they should check their hives. The standard answer seems to be “every week to ten days”. Off they go and follow the calendar dutifully opening their hives, removing each frame and looking it over. They may not really know exactly what they are looking for, but they are following the schedule. Experience has … [Read more...]