Category: journal


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The little bits here and there add up

Getting a hive ready for honeybees by recycled empty combs, nothing smells like home like the smell of beeswax. At least, that’s what the girls seem to think! The empty ends of honey combs are reclaimed, then tied onto bars – the bees reattach them – and this natural wax ‘foundation’ acts as a guide,…
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End of Season 2014

As the beekeeping season comes to an end, I look nourish my soul with my new experiences and turn towards the continuing journey.   Checking on the girls one last time before closing the hive for the winter season.

Not just Honeybees

For the backyard homesteader, creating habitats that encourage bumblebees, carpenter and mason bees to visit will help with higher yields with their superior small space pollination services when compared to honey bees. Bumblebees colonies can number in the hundreds, so they do not need the forage acreage that honey bees search out.  Carpenter and mason…
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Where they go for the nectar flow

Honey Bee colonies, in the height of summer can reach numbers of 40’000 to 100’000 and sometimes even higher numbers depending on resources.  Because there are such large numbers of foragers leaving the hive to return with nectar and pollen, that the scouts will try to find and report locations of large fields of flowers…
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Only when it’s raining

My beehive is set back among the trees; watching the entrance reveals that the foragers and scouts head out and up above the trees in search of nectar and pollen. Where they go, I cannot see How far they fly, I cannot tell but once rains start that do not cease All the bees come home…
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Less Grass, More Gardens

I had noticed that in the past years, there were no honey bees in the gardens. There was a marked decline in pollinators and predators, and it’s taken years to turn it around.   This year, we saw a larger variety of bumbles, carpenter and mason bees.  Dragonflies returned by the hundreds, wasps, hornets and…
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Saving the Monarchs

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen monarchs in our backyard, but they are making a comeback, thanks to caring people planting milkweed.  We need to keep it up and ensure the migration path and breeding grounds are full of flowers to ensure their numbers increase. Milkweeds are perennials, so once you establish…
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It’s been almost ten years

Since I moved to a home with a backyard and once again have the ability to commune directly with nature.  The size of our flower gardens has grown, propagating the spread of native flora by seed and transplant.  We purchased potted plants from greenhouses that employ sustainable practices, such as Integrated Pest Management. We started…
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Pollinator Specialist

Bumblebees are some of the few that are capable of pollinating tomatoes. The pollen is securely attached with the flower and needs vibration to successfully dislodge and pollinate.  Many growers and greenhouses rely of human hand/vibration to pollinate increasing numbers of crops, however they are neither as successful nor as fruitful as the bumblebees are.