Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Backyard Farming Connection: Bees

It's the first Backyard Farming Connection!  Link up your posts below!

Since our bees swarmed in August, we've been watching outside and inside the hive for the signs of the health of the hive.  We got our first package this spring and have spent the summer in awe of this busy, thriving community of thousands (yes- thousands) of bees, yet we still have a lot to learn about what is 'normal' behavior.  There are significantly less bees at the entrance these days than before the swarm, but this is to be expected with 60% of the hive taking off, and it has been much cooler out as well.  Still, the bees that are returning are heavily laden with pollen, and there seems to be many, many frames of honey. 


Going into the hive is always an event at our home.  Hadley and Finley help gather bits for the smoker, Freja picks ground cherries from the bush nearby, and I usually get right in there with the camera - usually too close without any gear on, but I've only been stung once, so I'm going to keep getting in there.  

We were worried after the swarm that there was no queen in the hive.  On our first visit into the hive we couldn't find a queen, actually we are pretty lousy at finding the queen, so this wasn't too alarming, what was more alarming was that we didn't see any new larvae.  This time after we broke through the propolis (the sticky stuff in the hive, the glue in one of the photos below) the hive seemed busy and we definitely saw some larvae cells - yeah!







As we move through our day from riding bikes to visiting the goats to pulling weeds we are highly sensitive to the activity of the buzzing community.  It is always exciting to see our bees amid the bumblebees, yellow jackets, and other scavengers in the flowers, or watch the 'flight school' on warm sunny days when the new bees practice their figure eights above the hive.  Still, the fact that those bees are busy all the time (like right now as I'm writing this) and they're doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing, is pretty spectacular. 





Now it's time to see what you've all been up to this week. Please link up your own journeys, advice, reflections, recipes, how to's, or anything farming, homesteading, gardening, related - and don't forget to grab a button in the footer.  For more information visit the Backyard Farming Connection page!

 You can also join my brand new Facebook page: The Backyard Farming Connection, where I'll share my favorite posts from the week!

I shared at:
BlogfestThe Chicken Chick

19 comments:

  1. I'm in from CLEVER CHICKS Blog Hop. I'll save your blog because I want to start bee keeping soon. Great post.

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    1. Thanks - bees have been a wonderful addition to our yard!

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  2. I enjoyed reading about your honeybees. We had a couple of hives years ago and have talked about getting back into it. Maybe next year.
    I'm joining your blog hop.

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  3. Just linked up my Apple Cider Vinegar recipe - I hope you'll come link up to my Blog Fest also: http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/09/farm-girl-friday-blog-fest-1.html

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  4. Fantastic pictures! Thanks for stopping by my blog to let me know you are here. I joined your hop.

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  5. Thanks for the invite! I can tell you have done some work to get the word out. I will be coming back again. I enjoy being a part of the homestead community. I learn so much from others.

    One glich in the link up. 15 characters is not enough to really describe what your post is about. I see alot of abreviations and cut off words. Most other link ups are 40-50 character limit (some as high as 120). I think you would have better sucess if you raised the limit a bit.

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  6. Fabulous photos! Love hearing about your bee adventure!

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  7. Such an amazing experience. Can't wait to get ours in the spring.

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  8. Hey, thanks for the invite! We're starting with bees next spring, very excited getting everything cleaned up and ready!
    I'll be back next week!
    Janie x

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    Replies
    1. Great - can't wait to see what else you have to share!

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  9. Visting via The Chicken Chick, beautiful pictures!!

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  10. My 14 year old son started keeping bees this year. He and my husband have 4, maybe 5, hives (I loose track). Some we got from a beekeeping friend and some are wild that they are re queening with Hawaiian queens. It's pretty cool. I don't know if we'll actually harvest any honey this year but next year should be great.

    Thanks for inviting me to the connection.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you made it here - beekeeping is quite an adventure!

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    ReplyDelete

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