I keep my beeyard report on a personal blog called The Byrd and the Bees. Please visit me there.
Links to individual blogs are listed below, and I'm much better at blogging than using a WIKI. Of course, I don't know how to use a WIKI at all, so that sets a low benchmark.
March 8,2017: "We're Getting Bees!" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/first-blog-post/
We’re getting bees!
After trying to convince The Engineer (aka my husband) beekeeping would be a great hobby for him, I recently realized that it would be an even better one for us to do together.
Initially, I was put off the idea for myself because, well, you know, even the gentle honeybee sometimes stings, and The Engineer is a lot more stoic than I am about that kind of thing.
March 13, 2017: "Little Insects, Big Investment" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/little-insects-big-investment/ There’s no two ways about it — getting into beekeeping is a costly endeavor. To make it worse, it’s generally advised that you buy new equipment. The reason is simple, and you probably know it already unless you live under a rock, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Raising bees these days means launching yourself into an ongoing battle against diseases and pests. Buying used equipment can mean buying another’s problems, definitely not the way to start ...
March 29, 2017: "Everything But the Bees" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/everything-but-the-bees/ On Friday, we drove to Blue Sky Bee Supply to buy The Engineer a bee jacket and veil.
Then, on Sunday, we took down a dead tree, a preventive measure to prevent it falling on our hive during some future storm ...
April 25, 2017: "Why I Love My Veil and Gloves" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/why-i-love-my-veil-and-gloves/ That is, of course, my beekeeping veil and gloves.
I love them. Hat too, and jacket — I love them all. And I don’t care if experienced beekeepers laugh when they see me suited up like I’m working a hazmat task force ...
June 6,2017: "Fortunately, the Bees Seem to Know What They're Doing" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/fortunately-the-bees-seem-to-know-what-theyre-doing/ We got our nuc (nucleus hive) last Tuesday evening, and it was a bit like the day we brought Darling Daughter home from the hospital, though not nearly so scary or life-changing. For one thing, bees don’t require diapers or middle-of-the-night feedings, and we had spent fourteen hours of class time learning about the Apis Mellifera (honey bee) — a lot more training than with the aforementioned daughter (worrisome, if you think about it, so try not to).
June 6, 2017: "Ants vs. Bees (and Beekeepers)"https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/ants-vs-bees-and-beekeepers/ My husband (henceforth referred to as The Engineer) discovered the ants the day before our bees arrived. The little black pests had decided our hive stand was the perfect place to raise the next generation and set up housekeeping, complete with eggs. The Engineer, acting in his usual rational manner, quickly cleared them off.
Unfortunately, the little buggers (pun intended) didn’t move on to other real estate. On Wednesday, they were back, marching determinedly up the hive stand legs, carrying eggs and depositing them somewhere inside our bees’ new home ...
June 10, 2017: "Drone Cells and Queen Cells = Two Different Things" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/drone-cells-and-queen-cells-two-different-things/ I know that. Still, I hyperventilated for a moment when we saw these on the bottom of a hive frame during our first hive check ...
June 20, 2017: "Busy as Bees" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/busy-as-bees/ Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
Once you own a beehive, you soon get a clear understanding of the etymology of that phrase, and it’s the only one appropriate for the progress our bees have made.
We’ve checked on our girls twice since you last heard from me, and they have been very busy indeed.
One thing we’ve learned is they seem to like the security of having queen cups ready to go. Too bad the sight of them has the opposite effect on me. (As I’ve already mentioned I’m not quite ready to handle a swarm.)...
June 26, 2017: "Fine, But Not Yet Super-Fine" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/fine-but-not-yet-super-fine/ The bees are still busy drawing comb, raising young, and gathering nectar and pollen, but in the end, we decided the girls were doing fine, but not quite “super-fine” (i.e., ready for a honey super).
July 4, 2017: "Thirsty Bees" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/thirsty-bees/ Guess what! Our bees have discovered the birdbath. I took a picture. Well, actually, I took a lot of pictures!
July 11, 2017: "Fine, But Not Yet Super-Fine: Take Two" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/fine-but-not-yet-super-fine-take-two/ When we last checked the hive, we added a honey super. Like all decisions regarding our girls, we weren’t sure if this was the right decision or not ... It wasn't.
August 1, 2017: "Thought our hive was busy until I saw this one at Queen Right Colonies." (A photo) https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/thought-our-hive-was-busy-until-i-saw-this-one-at-queen-right-colonies/
August 5, 2017: "Honey Bees and Yellow Jackets = Two Different Things" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/honey-bees-and-yellow-jackets-two-different-things/ I’m not fond of yellow jackets. I don’t know anyone who is, though they are considered a beneficial insect because they pollinate ... Becoming a beekeeper has made me dislike them even more.
August 16, 2017: "Saw this girl on my walk today. Working hard during the dearth." (A photo) https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/saw-this-girl-on-my-walk-today-working-hard-during-the-dearth/
August 22, 2017: "And They Shall Be Called ..." https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/and-they-shall-be-called/ How I came up with a clever name for our hive and then promptly forgot it. Fortunately, The Engineer didn't.
August 25, 2017: "I Just Saw a Baby Honey Bee, or One Step Forward, One Step Back" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/i-just-saw-a-baby-honey-bee-or-one-step-forward-one-step-back/ Of baby bees and learning curves.
September 14, 2017: "While You Wait for My Next Post ..." https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/while-you-wait-for-my-next-post/ Some pretty pictures of bees.
September 14, 2017: "Hot Bee Balls Cook Enemy Hornets -- But How Do Bees Endure the Heat?" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/hot-bee-balls-cook-enemy-hornets-but-how-do-bees-endure-the-heat/ Link to a story about an interesting defense strategy of Japenese Honey Bees.
September 25, 2017: "Small Pests = Mite-y Problems" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/small-pests-mite-y-problems/ I can’t say they didn’t warn us. At our Intro to Beekeeping class, the teachers all said the Varroa Mite population would explode in the late summer and fall. They were right.
October 1, 2017: "Heartbreak"https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/heartbreak/ Yesterday, we inserted the Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS). This morning when we visited the hive, we found this ...
October 5, 2017: "The End of a Worker Bee" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/the-end-of-a-worker-bee-this-poor-girl-has-flown-until-she-can-fly-to-more-and-will-soon-die/ Photo of a worker bee with tattered wings.
October 16, 2017: "Cautiously, Infinitesimally, Almost Imperceptibly Hopeful (for About a Day)" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/cautiously-infinitesimally-almost-imperceptibly-hopeful/ If there were a scale called “Chances Our Bees Will Survive the Winter,” it might look like this:
1__________________________________5_____________________________10 Bees will certainly die. Bees might not die. Bees will certainly live. ''Following the Yellow Jacket raid two weeks ago, I would have put our girls at about 1.5. After this week’s hive inspection, however, I think they’re closer to a 3, perhaps even a 3.5.
October 20, 2017: "So, You Want to Be a Beekeeper? Prepare to Occasionally Feel Very Stupid" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/so-you-want-to-be-a-beekeeper-prepare-to-occasionally-feel-very-stupid/ If you are the sort of person who wants to feel smart and be right all the time, beekeeping is probably not for you.
November 11, 2017: "Minding our Bees and Qs" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/11/11/minding-our-bees-and-qs/ I think I’ve established The Engineer and I have a lot to learn about beekeeping. If you haven’t yet reached that conclusion, I recommend you re-read my previous post, as well as the one before, which are full of corrections.
November 16, 2017: "Propolis, Beeswax, and Owning a Wired Hive" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/propolis-beeswax-and-owning-a-wired-hive/ Before we took our beekeeping course, I didn’t know about propolis.
January 4, 2018: "Glory Bees! They're Still Alive!" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/glory-bees-theyre-still-alive/ Yesterday morning, the ambient temperature outside was 4* F.
The hive was a toasty 82*.'
January 13, 2018: "Bee Poop + A Winter Peek Under the Hood" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/bee-poop-a-winter-peek-under-the-hood/ Yesterday morning at 9 am, it was 53* F. The Engineer opened the upper entrance a little wider, and the girls went crazy, seizing the opportunity for mid-winter cleansing flights.
It was poopfest. And when we got in their way, they didn’t hesitate to use us as their alfresco toilet.
January 29, 2018: "Oxalic Acid and Sugar Patties" https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/oxalic-acid-and-sugar-patties/ In many cultures, having a bee come in the house is either good luck, or a sign of company is coming. Obviously, this only holds true if you don’t kill it. So, next time you find one in your house, use a glass and a piece of paper to catch and release her. I’m pretty sure there’s no such superstition about Yellow Jackets. Just sayin’.
February 20, 2018: “Food for the Bees” https://thebyrdandthebees.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/food-for-the-bees/ Simply put, Neonicitiniods kill bees. So this year, I’m asking you to please think of our bees and other pollinators (and therefore yourself) when buying plants.