Well, the good news is that I have managed to purchase the hives, equipment, and clothing I believe is needed to have bees in the spring. The bad news is that it is February in Virginia, with snow on the ground and cold in the air. So the best I can do is take some pictures and keep reading and learning. Here is a picture of me dressed for the bees in my new bee jacket. I was planning to purchase a full-body suit, but am told I would roast in the full heat of summer around here. So a jacket it is.
This past week in bee school we learned about bee diseases and pests, from the tiny viruses to the dreaded mites and the much larger skunks and bears. Continue reading
Chris Hewitt inspecting a frame in one of his many apiaries. This image is captured from an AT&T Real Stories video (click the image to see it).
I had the privileged of spending some time with beekeeper Chris Hewitt yesterday. Chris is in his 9th year of beekeeping, and one of 13 beekeepers in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Russian Breeders program. I have ordered two nucs from him for my Langstroth hives, and he invited me to visit his home apiary. We spoke and toured his house and yard for over two hours, and with his permission I thought I would share some of the highlights. Continue reading
The cold seems heavy on the country right now, dipping deep into the southern United States. My area of Virginia was well below freezing today, and this weekend is expected to bring more cold weather. The idea of a warm spring with buzzing bees seems far away. Continue reading
Spring is a couple months away and the weather might be cold and dreary, but I have the birds and the bees on my mind. My bird feeders in the back yard have been visited by the local chickadees, juncos, cardinals, blue jays and other birds; and we started bee school in January with two classes under our belt so far.