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Author Archives: Dave Strickler

Split Believer

Never having seen a the results of a split before, I have always been hesitant, but fascinated to try one. When my last hive, Sandy, didn’t make it though the winter, I needed to secure bees late in the buying cycle. Luckily, a fellow Cape Cod beekeeper came to my aid, saying he’d split one … Continue reading »

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Three new colonies

May is often a busy month for beekeepers, and it has been for me. I’ve installed a split from a fellow Cape Cod beekeeper (thanks Bruce!), and two packages from Georgia. As you know, I really don’t like packages from Georgia, specifically for their lack of genetics that will help them survive New England winters. … Continue reading »

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Unusual bee pollination

No matter how long you’re a beekeeper, you still learn things about bees and pollination that surprise you, especially this Spring Harvest.

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Sandy: Starvation Due to Excessive Cold

A check of the hive on Feb 22 made me nervous. Even though it was about 55F when I went to check the hive, there was no sign of bees. Unusual, as I would have expected a few cleansing flights, but I didn’t even see traces of bee-poop in the bit of snow in front … Continue reading »

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Winter check-in

A quick inspection of the Sandy hive on Dec 30, 2013 showed a happy colony that had barely even touched the sugar I left for them. Since bees prefer their own honey to human processed sugar, this means they have plenty of their own honey to eat which was always my intent. A few seconds after … Continue reading »

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A Reminder of Who’s Boss

My bees are pretty gentile.  I often waltz up to the hives and put my ear to the back of the brood nest and listen for a the swish without any protection. As long as I don’t mess with their entrance, and don’t open the hive, they ignore me. The worst I ever get is … Continue reading »

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Trapping in the Summer?

Every beekeeper knows that swarm season is in the spring, but since bees don’t have a calendar, they swarm when they are ready. Swarming is an instinct of a healthy colony that has outgrown its current home and decides to split in two, with half staying, and half leaving to find a new spot to … Continue reading »

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A Mini Harvest

Over the holiday weekend, I decided the time was right to take a single frame of honey from Sandy. As this was the first honey I had taken from any hive, I was quite excited. Armed with some clever harvesting ideas from my friend Tim, we headed to the hives. With my trusty hive tool, … Continue reading »

Categories: Bees, Harvesting, Tools | 2 Comments

Busy Bees make Bountiful Bushes

When I checked on my bees two weeks ago, the hedge in my backyard was about three to four feet tall. Being that most of these bushes were planted last fall and thus just getting started this spring, I didn’t expect them to be doing very well. I knew any new landscaping would take time … Continue reading »

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And then there were two

Today I installed my second hive, and put it both hives on my new stand (more about that in another post). On the left is the new hive named Sunny which came as a three frame nuc, and has a syrup feeder hidden under the top two medium supers. My original hive, named Sandy is on … Continue reading »

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