Category Archives: Beekeeping

Honey Crop, 2015

We are not very attentive beekeepers anymore. When we were first trained, we went out on a weekly basis, logged notes on their progress, did mite counts to make sure they were not badly infested, and just gave them lots … Continue reading

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Aster Season

We were just discussing last night that we would have expected a huge bloom of asters by now across the whole farm. This is the last bit of the “nectar flow” that the honeybees count on to store up the honey … Continue reading

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The Trials of Beekeeping

We are engineering the society in which our honeybees live, because it has become a violent anarchy and no fun at all. Now that it is beginning to abate, I feel like I can tell the story. It all started … Continue reading

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New Picture of the Farm

It’s not always a sunny day in summer, is it? I decided I needed to trudge out into the melting snow drifts and capture the farm in the winter, edging into spring. Next week is going back to cold, but … Continue reading

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The Wages of Procrastination

Yep, it was my own fault.  I did not get around to winterizing in time and my nifty rain gauge shattered when the liquid in it froze.  The sun shone this afternoon so we made up for lost time and got ahead of … Continue reading

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Chickens in the Cold

Poor little cold chicken feet!  At 7:00 am it is 20 degrees outside. Yesterday was warmer, and when I went to refill the food and water I found their water feeder frozen solid.  Oops.  We were going out for the … Continue reading

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Autumn Is Approaching…

After a blustery day of spitting rain and my clanging windchime wildly swinging on the front porch, it calmed down and we took the dogs out for an evening stroll around the grounds.  The prairie is turning brown and gray … Continue reading

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Guest at the Banquet

I was walking past the hummingbird feeder just now, and look who decided it was an easy shortcut to the tedious job of collecting nectar?  I wonder if the queen knows this little forager is cheating?

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Cool New “Observation Hive”

My husband is so clever.  He was signed up to show our bees to a group of kids at church, so he threw together an observation hive and found a frame with a queen in it to show off.  It … Continue reading

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Capturing a Swarm

We are trying to maintain five colonies of honey bees on the farm, and as beekeepers must, we keep an eye on each hive to take steps to prevent the colony from splitting into two and half of them swarming … Continue reading

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An Afternoon with the Honeybees

We lost three colonies of bees over the winter, so on Saturday we picked up “packages” of bees that were trucked up from Georgia.  We are bringing the count up to 5 colonies this year, to qualify for a Michigan program … Continue reading

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Springtime 2014 at Bluestem Pond

In less than a week, our pond has completely de-iced.  I got out there yesterday with a rake and pulled out old dried cattail leaves and a layer of algae mixed with fluffy cattail fuzz.  Things are looking good.  Only … Continue reading

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Golden! A Bonus Honey Crop

Can you believe it, our bees were so industrious this summer that we had to go back and steal another 7 gallons of honey so that they’d have room in the hive to store fresh honey from the armloads of … Continue reading

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The Bees Cleaned Up!

I got some good advice from my blogging friend, adalynfarm, and filled a tub with the sticky goo of wax cappings from the honey harvest and then set it out on top of the hives to see if the bees would do … Continue reading

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Honey Crop Bottled Up

We’ve let our honey sit in 5-gallon buckets for about a week and the loose wax has floated to the top, so Joe bottled most of the honey in the bucket that has a convenient spicket at the bottom.  We … Continue reading

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Bluestem Bees

I haven’t reported on our bees for a while.  Actually, they are doing very well in contrast to the horrifying reports of huge losses to so many other beekeepers.  I don’t really think it is our doing, maybe just good … Continue reading

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Bee’s Wax

We’ve kept bees for three seasons, now.  What I’ve found is that after a couple cycles of the bees raising their “brood” in the comb, it begins to turn brown, as opposed to the pretty pale yellow of freshly drawn … Continue reading

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