Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring and Beehaus

It has been a long time since I blogged, but Spring is HERE in Newfane, VT. The bees are flying and I just have to post! Guess those girls who made it through winter are visiting the trees now because nothing else that I know of is making pollen. Happy Acres has ordered bees from BetterBee and I am getting a package. Looking forward to a new colony.

I found the most amazing, almost radical, hive body while surfing the net. Made in the UK, it's called a Beehaus by Omlet. It looks awesome, sort of like a Star Wars galactic bar frame hive. Check it out at

Let's here from all you beekeepers and bee-friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beautiful short video about beekeeping on the Whitehouse lawn

Click here to view a New York Times VIDEO about the Whitehouse hive.

For article with photos, more information and comments (political and otherwise) go to: A Bountiful Buzz - The Caucus (The Political and Government Blog of The Times )

Saturday, October 31, 2009

She is alive!

My queen is alive and well. I do hope that they make it through the winter.

Buzz and be well.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Preparing Beehives for Vermont Winter

Dave Cain & Nancy Turner
Waitsfield, VT

"We live in central Vermont and winters are long and cold here. The first year or two we kept bees we put an extra shallow on top of the inner cover with a screen stapled to the bottom and filled with dry wood shaving as a moisture absorber. That seemed to work fine, but then we heard about the method shown here."

Series of photos – Two Slide Shows
1. Insulating top of hive with rigid foam board... "routed channel provides a flue, or passageway, for moisture and air to vent while the insulation helps to hold in warmth."
2. Wrapping hive with tar paper... "not much too it. I use a stapler to fix the paper to the wood. It holds well through the winter and comes off easily in the spring."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Response to Starving Bees from Steve Parise

Sorry I haven't got back to you all sooner; I have been on annual leave.

I am assuming that the colonies are normal otherwise, that is they have queens, a good population and are not under heavy disease or mite stress. It is certainly possible for bees to have eaten up much of their stores with the prolonged spell of wet weather. This is especially true of Italian colonies. If they are indeed pulling out worker brood (drone brood starts to get pulled around this time of year anyway), then immediate feeding is necessary.

Go with a 2:1 sugar to water, top feed (avoid entrance feeders as this will promote robbing), with the feeder well protected from the weather and other bees. Make sure all extra supers are off the hives. This may have to go on for quite awhile, as they will need 50-60 pounds ideally, to make it through the winter. Let me know if you have other questions.


Stephen G. Parise
Agriculture Resource Management Specialist/apiculturist
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
116 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2901

Phone: 802.828.2431

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dead Bees on the Entrance

Hi West River Beekeepers,

After talking to a beekeeper friend who told me that one of her hives was starving, I went home to check on mine, and sure enough, my newest hive was starving. A pile of dead bees was on the Entrance board, and when I went in, a very small number of live ones!!! I immediately started feeding my three newest hives corn syrup. The rest of my hives had little to no honey stores but were plentiful with bees.

On the starving hive, I noticed a bunch of larva-like worms among the dead bees. They were alive and I am not sure if this is the clean up from the cannibalization or what. I scraped them away and there was activity coming and going. The other two weak hives were OK, but no great critical mass of bees or food. We shall see. I don't think there will be any honey for harvest this year. Drat!

Please comment. Thanks, Happy Acres

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Help! Query from a beginning West River Valley beekeeper

I received this query today in an e-mail message from a friend. Please respond: any helpful comments will be appreciated.

"...since everyone is talking about harvesting honey we went into the top super to see if there was any honey. A week or so ago there seemed to be a lot of bees in that super, but today although there were a lot of bees there is NO comb. I have been feeding and they are eating the sugar water very quickly. Would you assume that our hive is having trouble maintaining like what we hear of others? Our plan at this point is to feed and leave everything for the bees to have this winter. Tell me what you think?

A little discouraging. We didn't venture to the broods........."

Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08

Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08
Photo: Coyotewoman, Newfane Hill, VT