The excitement of a big cardboard box as a child and the endless possibilities were much better than the contents. A train. A house. A tunnel. A fort. A big cardboard box could become all that and more. Colouring markers (aka sharpies) or a few crayons and a scissors (preferably without supervision) and I would… Continue reading Big Brown Box
“Bee stings don’t bother me.” My jaw dropped in disbelief. These words had come out of my own mouth! I was a little impressed with myself, finally perhaps, I am a true beekeeper. I’ve seen so many of the experienced beekeepers brush off stings as a mere nuisance, for this moment I felt one of… Continue reading Ouch!
This is a question I’m often asked. Well now… I live in suburbia and did put my first hive in my back garden, and they were a joy to watch. I would watch them every morning from my kitchen window flying out of and into the hive. At mid-day the young bees would circle the… Continue reading Could I put a beehive in my back garden?
The adult in me had flown out the window out to the large lawn littered with beehives. Real hives with real bees. I watched a druid-like cluster around one hive as a demonstration is taking place. My attention is dragged back “Is this your first time?” said a stranger in the queue to register. I… Continue reading Immersion
The door handles are sticky. There’s a schlick, schlick, schlick sound from my shoes as I walk across the floor tiles. My hair is sticky, every spoon, uncapping fork, super, hive tool, bucket and anything at all that I’ve touched (and many places that I hadn’t touched) has a splodge of honey. This is despite… Continue reading A fine mess – short and sweet
Nearly there. Only a few weeks to the harvest. I can feel the excitement quietly mounting in the pit of my stomach as I look forward to a bountiful supply of honey but know too that I could be bitterly disappointed. All the hives could have supers(boxes) full of honey one week and if the… Continue reading About time
Ever the optimist I put out bait hives every year. “A bait hive is an empty hive that is set up to attract a swarm during the swarming season. For about a week before a colony swarms it sends out scout bees to find a new home.” http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/baithives.html. There are pros and cons to catching swarms;… Continue reading Swarm Catcher
I thought it was a good idea to put two hives inside a tall hedge near a public road. You couldn’t see the hives from the road and the bees flew over the heads of any passer by without anyone noticing. I drove by one day and was shocked to see the hedge cut low… Continue reading Bovine encounter
Being a beekeeper is a privilege. I get to go out into nature on my solitary mission to tend to the beehives, usually in the very best of weather. After the initial flurry of preparation there is a peacefulness the descends as I approach my hives. I greet each of them, talking to the ladies… Continue reading Privileged
I remember the gorgeous smell of the house when my mother was making jam. She would stir the sticky mix with a wooden spoon, enveloped in the sweet, smelling steam as it wafted up from her special jam-making pan. Jam jars would be sterilized and lined up like a military platoon ready for action. “Keep… Continue reading Win-win