Browsing Category : Getting Started in Beekeeping

Ants in a beehive

Ants in the hive

We had never had ants in our hives. Ever. Until this summer, the bees had successfully kept the ants away from their honey. So, as I walked around our honey hive, I was alarmed to see the ants marching  and disappearing under the lid. My smoker was stubbornly failing to smoke and I began to contemplate opening the hive without…

Bee Packages - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries, Part I

Bee packages – Part I – Season 4

Just got more bees from Rossman Apiaries and decided to write this quick post on installing bee packages. The bee packages arrived overnight and were delivered by our trustworthy UPS guy, who promptly warned me that the metal mesh edges are very dangerous. Indeed, they were. Despite pocking myself countless times on those wires, the operation went pretty smoothly. Nothing…

Cloth cover for beehive - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

Preparing for the winter, Part II

The temperatures are dropping below 30F this week… I remember, back in 2008, when I took the beekeeping classes (right after a very warm and dry year of 2007), the only recommendation for preparing the beehives for the winter was to install the mouse guard. I think that the times have changed. This year the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting (again) a…

Bee in Harmony Blog

Preparing for the Fall, Part II

I changed all of our bees’ foundation in the beginning of September (Labor Day weekend), when I also harvested the honey.It is now the middle of October, and it is time to prepare the bees for the winter. But first, I had to joint the brood rearing colonies with the queen-right colonies. The brood-rearing colony should have already been sitting…

Natural Beekeeping 101: What is in my bucket?


I can’t say how many times I forgot something and had to march up and down the hill ( a quarter of a mile) to my workshop to get a lighter or a sieve… sometimes even twice… Not to mention the bees that followed me up and down the hill, while the temperature was steadily rising with the morning sun. Well, here is a list of things that I have hanging on my workshop door.

1. The Bucket:

  • 2 hive tools (J Hook hive tools)
  • a sieve
  • a plastic container with a dusting mix (I discuss dusting in my e-book and this post)
  • a plastic container with wipes, moistened with hydrogen peroxide (see this (more…)

Natural Beekeeping 101: Drone laying queen

There was a question on my Facebook page about drone laying queen. So, now I have some pictures!drone laying queen

First, here is a quick bee biology reminder:
The queen mates a few times in the beginning of her “career” and stays in the hive for the rest of her life. The sperm, which she collected during her mating flights, stays in her spermatheca. If she lays an egg in the small cell, she releases the sperm from her spermatheca, thus fertilizing it. If she lays an egg in the large cell, she does not release the sperm, and the egg will develop into drone larva. Drones are big fussy bees that do not sting, by (more…)

Observing hives in winter

I know that it is too late for this post, but I am going to give some quick points: As I mentioned before, I check on our bees every two weeks throughout the winter, primarily because we have warmer weather and the queen may be laying in January. The main thing is to continue feeding the colonies, so I have…