Honeybee News

DSC_6864-1Jonny and I are having a lot of fun with our bees this year.  I remember last year being nervous about things going wrong, about being stung, and all sorts of things. It was fun, but it wasn’t laid back fun.  This year is different.  I’m not worried about anything.  That is, even though everything hasn’t worked out exactly perfectly.  See the hive above on the right?  We’re calling that one Candleford again.  And the one of the left is Lark Rise. Here’s what happened: Remember that video I posted of all the bees pouring into Candleford the day we installed them?  That was really cool.  However, we soon realized that most of the bees from both packages joined in, leaving Lark Rise a rather pitiful little colony.

Here’s a photo of the entrance to Candleford.  The bees are busy and there is lots of activity.  There’s a short little video below to give you a better idea:

And here’s a little video of what’s going on at the entrance of Lark Rise:  Not much.

You can see pretty much all of the Lark Rise bees in this photo.  They are all clustered on a handful of frames, carrying for the small amount of brood that they can manage.

They do have a laying queen, and actually that is her at the bottom of this frame.  Unfortunately, there aren’t enough bees to care for all the eggs she is laying and many are just drying up.  But, they have a little capped brood of their own about to emerge, and we have given them a frame full of capped brood from the stronger Candleford hive, and will probably grab another in the next week or two.  Soon those new bees will be emerging and Lark Rise will have a better work force.  Making these little maneuvers, we are hoping to give them the boost they need to get going.  It will be so much fun to see if this works out.  Hopefully we will end up with two strong hives of bees this year.

Finally, Here’s a video of a bee in the crimson clover.  When I shared photos of the clover earlier this week, the bees weren’t taking too much interest in it yet.  They wait until it reaches a certain point, and then they descend and there are a buzzing bunch of bees in the clover patch.  I like to sit an watch them.


  1. I love the video of the bees on the crimson clover! I love that flower—and the bees! 🙂 I just read on face book that you had a ruff night. I’m so sorry. Praying for you all. Love you!

  2. My husband does all our bee work, but is there a reason you didn’t paint your hive bodies and supers?

    Once you harvest some honey I would suggest making some into creamed honey, it was a big hit at our house and we gave it as gifts all year.

    • We used an eco wood finish rather than paint, just because I prefer the look. We’ll see if they hold up as well though as painted ones, probably not.

  3. And another video from Costa Rica, when we had a backyard. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nahuatlv/6297373369/

  4. I love to read about your bees and I dream along for someday being able to take care of hives.
    Here is a video of a bee in the Mexico City’s summer, I love to watch them as well. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nahuatlv/7682798718/

  5. Love this post! So much fun to read and watch! Just like all those great chicken coops on Pinterest, would love to try it, but when will I have the time?

    Have a great weekend,

  6. dairygran says:

    So interesting. Thanks lots.

  7. I love that video! It’s so peaceful, and the bird in the background has such a pretty song!

    I hope your bees work out! I love hearing about them.

  8. Bees are on our bucket list too, but we live in town and worry about the effect of road noise and mowers. Can you tell us more about your crimson clover? I purchased some and planted it after seeing yours the last two years and it has done absolutely nothing. I’m just wondering what I might be doing wrong.

  9. Even bees want to leave the poor farming community to be in on the fun at the town. Maybe you should call the other one Oxford instead of Larkrise, and see what happens…

  10. Thanks, Ginny, for the great video. I am just finishing up teaching parts of a flower and today we learned about pollination by bees in particular. How lucky we were to watch your great videos! And that crimson clover is gorgeous.

    PS We learned today that bees determine at the beginning of each day which flowers to go to — that they don’t just stop at random flowers. That is why they are such great pollinators — they are bringing the right pollen to each plant.

  11. What lovely photos and video! Beekeeping is on my bucket list!

  12. The video of the bee in the crimson clover just might very well be the most relaxing thing that I’ve watched in a long time! 🙂 Of course, your whole site is a charming, peaceful respite, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Thanks for the beautiful Friday post!

  13. So exciting! My hubby and I have dreams of owning bees of our own someday, but I will admit that the whole thing is a bit intimidating. But until then, I will enjoy reading about your adventures in bee-keeping!

  14. I love when you post about your bees!! We had hives on our farm when I was little, so I don’t remember them well, but if we ever move to the country again with my own clan, I would so get bees!! I hope your hives are both strong this year- and I hope you’ve been feeling well too! I often say a little prayer for you and the bun in the oven 🙂

  15. the birds sounds are stunning too! you lucky things!

  16. Beverly says:

    How do you keep from being stung? I’m terrified of bees, had a really bad reaction to being stung.

    • We wear protective clothing, including veils that protect our faces. These bees aren’t aggressive at all though. We haven’t been stung this year, and last year were only stung on one occasion when we were doing stupid things 🙂

  17. hi :). we lost both of our hives this winter, also. our new bees arrive next week. did you leave your old bees’ comb and honey intact for the new bees? we were told that they will clean house when they move in and will use the hand-me-down materials 🙂 that makes me like bees even more!

    • Yes we did! We rotated all the frames through the freezer first to kill any pests and gave both colonies fully drawn out frames and even capped honey. We are hoping that this helps to get them off to a great start!

  18. Well, I am very interested! We are hopefully going to be babysitting some hives on our property and learning how to care for them so I am eating up all this info.
    Great problem solving!

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