The pros and cons of beekeeping

So, you want to keep bees? – Season 7

  I have been planning to write this post for a while. I am often asked about how difficult it is to get into beekeeping, and I find that I often tailor my answer to the individual. Why not justĀ  give a quick and enthusiastic “you can do it”? I hope that after reading this post, you can understand šŸ™‚…

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Winter Inspection of beehives

Winter Inspection – Season 6

Winter is the easiest and the most difficult season. Not much needs to be done. And not much can be done, when things go very wrong. Often, the weather plays a big role. It may be very cold, or very wet. Nosema is a big threat because of those cold and wet months. It may be that the temperatures fluctuate…

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winterizing a beehive

Winterizing Hives – Season 6

It is the most critical time of the year. The colonies will not raise brood until the spring, so the bees that were raised in the fall is all we have got. The bees stay in a tight cluster during the colder temperatures. The bees on the outside of the cluster need to rotate with the ones inside the cluster…

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Honey bee phenotype (breed)

Your honey bee phenotype (breed): Part I

  At times, I get to explain to somebody why we prefer Italian honey bees here, in Northern Alabama. As I start discussing the pros of breeding bees suitable for the climate, I always get a question about mite resistance. After all, I am a natural beekeeper and I don’t treat for mites in a traditional way… My answer is…

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Feeding bees should the priority of every beekeeper

Feeding bees in winter – Season 6

I believe that feeding bees is an underrated topic among beekeepers. Medicating bees is the most discussed and certainly overrated topic, on my account. So, it is no surprise that every year, many beginnerĀ  beekeepers starve their colonies. Even experienced beekeepers starve their colonies, when they unexpectedly explode in growth in the spring. Those two pictures above are of the…

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Bee in Harmony by Sophia Rowe

Changing comb – Part 4 – Season 6

In Part 2 and Part 3 of Changing Comb series for this Season 6, I told about removing of the old comb (foundation) from the beehive before preparing the colony for the winter. This is a modified by meĀ method (called the Bailey comb change method) describedĀ in BeeCraft, July 2016, by Jason Learner from National Bee Unit British organization. The difference…

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For beekeeper’s garden: Tea Shrub

If you are a tea drinker, you may know the difference between the green and the black teas. But have you ever seen the tea shrub, Camellia sinensis? Did you know that it grows easily in zone 7, as an evergreen shrub? Did you know that it blooms in the fall? And how about that it is a bee plant?…

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Changing comb – Part 3 – Season 6

In the last post, I described how I removed theĀ old comb from my four deep double super beehives. I still had three hives in regular supers, which needed to have their old foundation removed. So, in this post, I am going to talk about them. 1. I start with placing a clean bottom board and deep super next to the…

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Old comb - Bee In Harmony

Changing comb – Part 2 – Season 6

The fall is here. It is time to harvest honey. For us, natural beekeepers, it isĀ alsoĀ time to Ā change the comb (foundation). Every year, as I harvest my honey, I change from deep doubleĀ supers to my regular width deep supers, and in the process, I inspect each frame, looking for any dark comb and brood. I either set it aside for…

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Honey comb - Bee in Harmony - a natural beekeeper's blog

Changing comb – Part 1 – Season 6

If I was allowed to talk about only one ruleĀ every natural beekeeper should abide by, it would be changing honey comb (foundation) yearly. Yes, it means that the bees will be spending time, energy and food on building new foundationĀ (so, I make them do it in the fall). Yes, you will need to be monitoring the hive for some stubborn…

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Sedum - Autumn Joy - Bee in Harmony - a natural beekeeper's blog

For beekeeper’s garden: Sedum “Autumn Joy”

Sedums – ducks don’t seem to bother them I planted theseĀ Sedums (“Autumn Joy”) a few years ago. Every year, early in the spring, I divide the plants, and each August they produce the most amazing blooms. Heat, drought, chicken and ducks trumpeting all over… nothing deters this plant from producingĀ these gorgeous blooms. Blooms and wonderful fragrance are not its only…

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Bee in Harmony - a natural beekeeper's blog

The bee needs her sleep too

Did you know that the bees need their sleep too?Ā InĀ 1983, Walter Kaiser made an interesting discovery: honey bees slept. In 2014,Ā biologists Barrett Klein, Martin Stiegler, Arno Klein, and JĆ¼rgen Tautz from the universities of WĆ¼rzburg and Wisconsin La Crosse (USA) published more research in the journal PLoS ONE. ( Some of their findings include that facts that house bees took…

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