This site is a collection of stories regarding Honeybees and beekeeping. In each one I present a beeís eye view of major events in the life of colony of honeybees. Life is one set of trials after another and honeybees are not exempt. Here you will find one manís view of his bees, one manís interpretations of the events that a colony goes through. I hope to convey a sense of what it feels like to work the bees, how it feels to watch their struggles, triumphs and defeats. The first trial awaiting a colony is just being born, as we will see in ďBirth of a Package,Ē but first we need to take a slight detour to learn ďThe language of Bees,Ē and then a brief stopover with ďRosettaís Guide to Beehives.Ē Each major chapter is the story of a colony from the view point of the bees, then the story of the colony from the view point of the beekeeper. The last third of most sections contains information on how this is done and what I look for and do in each situation.
2-24-2009 - Added Cracking the Pollen Case. Once you understand how pollen is protected the mystery isn't how much nutrition pollen provides. It's how the honeybee manages to digest it at all.
1-9-2009 - Added Central Heat. How do honeybees survive snow and rain in a wooden box? The hive has a built in heating system. In fact, it has 30,000 of them.
8-22-2008 - Added Trapped. Pollen trapping is a great way to diversify your beekeeping harvest. Who gets trapped and what it catches, well, therein lines the rub.
8-15-2008 - Added Observations from a Bee Buffet. I set up a honeybee feast for free. What followed was sheer anarchy.
6-30-2008 - Added Diplomatic Immunity. A honeybee swarm, a real estate agent, and a rake.
3-11-2008 - Added Escape Reality. Bee Escapes claim to offer an easy way to clear the honey supers of bees. A little experience will make a believer out of you. Well, you'll believe something.
2-2-2008 - Added "Contractual Obligations" Pollination is serious business for a beekeeper to survive. Fortunately the most important contract was worked out millions of years ago - that between the bees and the flowers.
2-1-2008 - Added "Stunt Bees". We tend to worry about our bees all winter. After all - it's the only season when things are entirely out of our control. We need not worry: The bees are experts at pulling this stunt.
1-29-2008 - Updated "Rosetta's Guide to Beehives" - now with 100% more illustrations than before.
1-6-2008 - Added "Roll Your own Extractor," an article on building a honey extractor from bike wheels, plastic drums, and cutting boards. Not exactly what you'd find in the local bee catalog, but well worth the time. Also "Sugar Rush", about feeding bees in the winter. Sugar in its many forms forms both the end goal and the biggest obstacles to survival. Well, if a little sugar got us into this mess, maybe more will get us out.
Meet the BeesMeet the Bees to get an overview of each of the stories. If you aren't sure where to begin choose one that sounds interesting.
Confessions of a
(Still Learning) Beekeeper
This is not yet a guide to beekeeping. I donít have the knowledge or experience to write with authority on the subject. When Iíve been doing it for twenty years Iím not sure Iíll be qualified. Itís more like the readerís digest version of beekeeping. It might do in a pinch but youíll want a better manual as time goes on.
Iím selling a limited quantity (arenít most quantities in fact limited?) of Fireweed honey from my bees. The prices are intended to discourage you from buying from me and encourage you to buy from a local beekeeper. If you count that you would need to pay shipping, thatís some powerful incentive to buy from someone local. That said, if you want to buy honey from me, Iím offering 10oz honey bears and 2lb honeybears. You can read about it on the "Buy HoneyĒ page.