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5 Min Ignite Talk on Bees + Beekeeping

22 Sep

Complete with a rather gratuitous and graphic demo of drone bee genitalia explosion at about 2:30. What was I thinking?

Silence of the Honeybees

30 Jul

As we speak PBS is airing a documentary about colony collapse disorder, “Silence of the Honeybees.”

If you missed it, watch it online at

The Day of the Swarm

30 Jun

This beekeeping thing is endlessly cryptic.

Take yesterday, for example, when bees from the Ann Hive swarmed TWICE and yet due to a clipped queen, remain stuck in our backyard.

Alex tells the dramatic tale of exodus and return…


Bee swarming FAIL

25 Apr
After being unable to convince their queen to swarm, the bees release a pheromone telling everyone to return home

After being unable to convince their queen to swarm, the bees release a pheromone telling everyone to return home

The Kerry Hive has been owned.

After nearly a month of threatening to do so, our strongest hive swarmed today. With great huzzah, thousands of divas escaped the hive and took to the sky like buzzing parade day confetti.  They formed a cluster on a nearby tree and called thousands of their sisters to join the party.

And then they changed their mind.

Whether the queen refused to join them, or couldn’t because her wings were clipped, we’ll never know.

All we can say for certain is that everyone returned home for the night and that we’ll likely be on swarm patrol again tomorrow.

What’s killing the honeybees? The tragic ending to my first year keeping bees.

9 Feb

Five months later and with the promise of new bees arriving this weekend soothing me like a sweet low hum, I’m finally able to describe the tragic end of my first year of beekeeping.

The Bee Apocalypse

July 24 about 10 a.m., we noticed a massive exodus from the hive. This wasn’t an exuberant swarm though; this was thousands of dying bees crawling from the hive like zombies.

When we approached the hive, there were already thousands dead near the entrance. When I pulled out the bottom board, piles of bees fell to the ground. Clearly, the carcasses had been blocking the bees inside from moving between the comb.

Those on the ground crawling were clearly in great pain as they twitched and hopped amid rocks and mulch. Hundreds twitched around me at any given point in a ten foot radius around the hive. Continue reading

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.

Bee video goodness live from Albuquerque

13 May

For your edification and delight, here’s some titillating footage of our bee package installation. It’s a kenyan top bar classic sure to amaze friends and family.