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Beekeeper's Blog — bees RSS



Spring feedings and hive inspections

After taking a quick break to visit family in Chicago, It's back to the business of beekeeping for me.  Spring has sprung at least 6 weeks early this year, and before you know it it'll be swarm season!  In fact, I saw dandelions blooming in seattle today..its february!!!! We have placed order in for 20 new nucleus hives this year, and have over 2 dozen hives looking strong after a mild winter.  We hope to split those strong hives and get up to 75 beehives for summer honey production!   For now, the weather has been warm enough for the bees to be awake and eat their honey reserves, but not warm enough or long enough to put liquid feed...

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Winter warmth and timely metaphors

What a couple of gorgeous days we've had up here in soggy 'ol western Washington! The rains let up and we marched ourselves and hundreds of lbs of frame honey out through muddy fields and farm pastures to get our ladies fed!  We hold back tons of honey during extraction to feed back, if needed, to strong springtime clusters.   I'm hesitant to say the word Springtime just yet, as we likely will have a million gallons of steadily-pouring rain yet to deal with, but after the recent cold snaps, I knew whatever bees were still alive would likely need a little treat to boost morale in the hive.  It was also a nice day to cart out any unused equipment that...

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a good day to die!

these are the three sizes and varieties of italian honeybees that make up a hive.  There is, and can only be, one queen.  There are thousands and thousands of her daughter worker bees, and all year long the queen will lay eggs for more workers.  Then there are the drones.  The drones are the male honeybee who get to live in the hive for about 7 months out of the year, here in western washington.  They are good for one thing, and that is to mate with a virgin queen as she first emerges.  The drones can't help defend the hive because they have no stinger, they can't help feed the hive because they don't forage.  They just laze around,...

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The honey stand

I moved into a great big warehouse/apartment/production space last December that happens to have historically been a honey business.  It has been an art gallery and studio space for a sculptor for the last 20 years, but there remains a small "on your honor" honey stand out front.  My landlord has brokered honey from a gal down in Arlington for years, and the customers are both loyal and frequent.   Because I rent and not own, I don't have regular access to the honor system honey sales.    I f I wanted to, and I did back during tulip season, stand outside all day and sell honey or anything else for that matter, it would be fine.  But I mostly...

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Did I not tell you about this already?

Oh no, I'm so sorry for forgetting to shout this recipe from the rooftops.  It's the absolute perfect addition to summertime fruit (especially strawberries) and it's so healthy.  I take full credit for the initial idea, but cousin ted takes the prize for making it and taking it to some next level s*#t!! So I'll call it healthy honey whipped cream: take a quart of plain greek style yogurt (has to be greek, european style wont cut it) and pour it into a fine strainer or cheese cloth.  Let set overnight in your fridge over a bowl that will catch all the whey as it separates.  What you have left is thick enough to pass as whipped cream.  Put the...

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