Archive | June, 2008

The Great Lavender Gorge

27 Jun

Lavender bee

The lavender bloom is on in Albuquerque and my girls are feasting.

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The Vanishing of the Bees

26 Jun

Vanishing of the Bees
I just learned about this powerful bit o work: The Vanishing of the Bees

The trailer includes footage from a Malaysian honey hunt described in Stephen Buchmann’s Letters from the Hive as well as interviews with beekeepers from all over the country.

To be honest, the trailer is so compelling that my sappy little Mama cortex is having a full-on emotional crisis.

Work it, girls! How to manage a top bar hive

8 Jun

This is one of the best folksy walk-throughs I’ve read yet describing the process of inspecting a top bar hive. For newbeeks, it’s like that doddering professor who actually knows what he’s talking about:

If the entrance holes are at one end, I puff a small amount of smoke at the entrance, and wait perhaps a minute. If a good honeyflow is on and the weather is good, smoke probably would not be necessary with my Italian bees but I use a little anyhow. Some smoke is puffed underneath the arching top covers in case paper wasps have started a nest under the tin. Next I remove the covers and the strip that covers the rear half of the notches in my tb’s which lets me see how far the bees have drawn out comb. If the bees seemed to be alarmed because of inclement conditions in which I might need to work or some other factor, most of the notches can be kept covered . Continue reading

Will my bees (and I) hallucinate on datura?

7 Jun

Jimsonweed/datura in my backyard

My jimsonweed is 1 day away from blooming. What will this mean for my bees?

According to some sources:

Bee nectar collection from Datura plants in Mexico and Hungary, belladonna flowers, henbane (Hyoscamus niger) plants from Hungary, Serjania lethalis from Brazil and Gelsemium sempervirens from the American Southwest can all result in toxic honey.

Should I dig up my datura?