here is a great link a friend sent me (my webpage designer Bryan, actually) which summarizes why bees are able to reach 100% consensus on matters of importance. Unlike people, they have a system that results in complete agreement! Check it out: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2011/05/24/136391522/natures-secret-why-honey-bees-are-better-politicians-than-humans?sc=fb&cc=fp
If you lived here you would think bees were taking over the world. Removed three big swarms of bees from Tulsa, one as big as a basketball. Then off to Perry, to remove bees from a house built by a wealthy individual in 1930. They were in the upper wall. When I said we needed to open up the wall, instead of a sheetrock saw the owner gave me a sledgehammer. I mean this house was built like the proverbial brick outhouse. What a job. Then a call from an apartment in Tulsa, to remove yet another swarm! I farmed it out to my son Wren, who got it way after dark. I need a rainy day, these girls are workin me to death!
Originally published 2/9/2011
Well. Like I said, it’s just me and the dog here in eskimo land. I need a parrot.
People have about booked me up already wanting bees for the Spring. I hope I can fill all the orders, this weather is pretty tough on bees….they need to stay warm all year, and with -7 degrees tonite, gonna be a tall order for them. Makes me wish I was still in Uganda. Nice and Warm.
Originally published 1/20/2011
Three inches of snow on the ground, but I’ve been beesy. Cleaning frames, painting, so many little things that need to be done to keep these girls happy. I think I will get them off to an early start with some “brood builder”, which is mainly soybean powder. It stimulates them to start rearing new bees early. I already have a lot of orders for new bees in the spring, so in order to divide my hives and make new ones, I have to get them strong early. Brood builder does it.Getting low on bottled honey, looks like I will sell out by Spring. People are getting wise to the benefits of local honey.
Which brings me to my latest rant: There is a TREMENDOUS amount of honey being marketed around here as “LOCAL”, which comes from far, far away. I have seen people with drums of foreign honey who are claiming it is local! I don’t know what to do about it….talked to the manager of Whole Foods, the biggest health food store in town, and told him “you really don’t have any real local honey here”….and he just hung his head and said “I know”. And indeed, the labels in front of their honey don’t say it is local. They merely say “buy local”. Pretty sneaky though. I would sell there, but there are so many hoops to jump through, it’s not worth it…like for example, I need “product insurance”. In case someone chokes on a spoon of honey I guess. That’s about $1000 a year! (Oh well, I warned you, this is a rant.) And both health food stores won’t let me advertise…of course…it’s business, and all about the Money.
Here’s advice for someone who wants truly local products: go to the producer. Look at the hives. If he sells a lot, he better have a lot of hives! A typical hive in Oklahoma gives about 30 pounds per hive per year in this area. Do the math….if someone is selling tons of honey in numerous places, he better have hundreds of hives. Otherwise you can guess what is going on….banditry!!
OK. Rant completed. Golly, isn’t the snow pretty?
originally posted 9/28/2010
The best year ever for the bees, I bottled over 600 pints of honey, some of the best I ever tasted!
We got back from Uganda, where we were teaching the Mountain people in the Rwenzoris more efficient beekeeping techniques. Suffice to say it was extremely interesting. I posted some videos here: Wore me out, though….4 hours a day in the “class”, and then the rest of the day in the beeyards, which were located like everything else: over a few mountains and then in a valley. By foot. Oy vey. But felt good to be doing something really worthwhile
originally posted 3/21/2010
Man has it been busy here! It seems everybody in the world wants a beehive. Working like a galley slave building hives and getting the girls ready to divide into new colonies. And now, on about the first day of Spring, 4 inches of snow! Oy, what weather is this?? But the GOOD news is, out of my 40 hives, not a single one died out! In fact, they all look really good, even the one that went queenless in late Fall–it is full of bees. I gave it some eggs/larvae, go for it girls!I believe the incredible survival rate is due to by choosing for survival by stocking with swarms in the first place–swarms that had come from untreated feral stock. More on this later, I gotta run, bzzzzzz