Browsing Category : Natural Beekeeping 101

Expanding to double deep supers – Season 6


So, this year, I started with 5 colonies in the spring. Due to my family circumstances, I did not have the time to start queen replacement process and, instead, decided to let the bees decide when they need to replace their queens. The queens were old. The colonies were rather large, so I made sure that I removed the bottom tray earlier…

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Beehive Spring Check- Bee in Harmony

Spring check – Season 6


The weather this winter was rather mild. I did not have to wrap the hives, and the colonies seem to have faired quite well. The way I checked the colonies without opening them is the following: I untied the strap and removed the feeding bottle. Then, I gently lifted the hive about an inch or two on one side. That…

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Rowe Apiaries - queen laying in honey supers

Bee packages – Part IV -Season 4


This is a continuation of my posts on the three new bee colonies, which I started from packages this year. In the last week of July, I always schedule a mid-summer check-up for my beehives. We still have a very productive month of August ahead of us, so it is time to check on honey supers and dust the colonies. The important…

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Rowe Apiaries - bee hive ready for expansion - Sophia Rowe

Bee Packages – Part III – Season 4


Yesterday, I checked on my three new colonies, which were started from nucs this May. I remember when I started beekeeping, I often took my brood frames out during the honey season, to check on egg laying and the queen. This process was very disruptive to the colonies. As I read later, it would take them at least three days…

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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…

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Difficulties of beekeeping in the South - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

Difficulties of beekeeping


The spring honey harvesting came late for us this year. Just to prove that my thoughts about quitting our queen breeding efforts for a few years have some valid ground, the girls got sick with a flu-like virus (in June, yes)… Even having my husband back from his two week long military exercises did not help – using babysitter was…

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Bee packages - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

Bee packages – Part II – Season 4


After installing bee packages last Thursday, I had to wait until Monday to release the queens. I could have removed the sugar candy plug the same day they arrived (surely there is nothing wrong with that) and let the bees release their queens, but I prefer to do it myself, making sure that the queen is accepted and sealing the…

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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…

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Double deep beehive super - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

Expanding with double supers


The spring came late to Alabama this year. It is the first week of May and I have just now expanded the brood chamber to double deep supers. I described using double deep super for my brood chamber in my previous posts, but I want to briefly mention why I do this every spring. After the colony grows out of…

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Using antibiotics in the beehive - Bee in Harmony, Rowe Apiaries blog

Using antibiotics in the beehive


  If I was to look back at my first year of beekeeping, the most daunting question to me was whether I should medicate or not medicate my bees.  Actually, even before that, when my hives became overrun by SHB within three weeks of getting my splits, I had to ask myself whether I am going to follow the advice…

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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…

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