Sunday Morning at Real Food Farms

I met Will one of the farm managers at the site to look at the hives. We discovered one of was lost during the winter.

Will was excited to see the honey frames and posed for me above. I will be back to the Farm because they have donated equipment to BeeMore for use and rehabilitation.

I will be holding an event here in May stay tuned for more information.

Have a great Sunday!

Michelle

Seedlings at Park Heights

People often ask me how and why I started beekeeping and BeeMore and it all goes back to the garden. This morning, I dropped by the offices before an Earth day event and I was inspired by these seedlings which started off like this…or probably more like this last summer

So it’s great to see the early evolution of these plants before we put them in the garden when the weather warms a but more.

Happy Earth Day!

Michelle

šŸŒ» Sunflower Starters šŸŒ»

Over the last few weeks, I started some flower seeds inside because of the recent Nor’easter. My hope is to get a jump start on the pollinator friendly plants.

I thought that I would share some tips on indoor planting that I found on the internet.

  • Make sure you use a larger pot or even cup because these seed grow quick.
  • Make sure the soil temperature is 65-70 degrees. This plant is above a heat vent so these have taken off better than the ones in my kitchen.
  • Water every 2 or 3 days.
  • Wait until it’s above 65 to transplant.

Good Luck šŸ€

I will be getting my 1st set of new bees on April 7th. So look out for some new bee šŸ posts.

Michelle

Project Sunflower

IMG_2183 (2)
Summer Bee

I am currently a taking the UME Baltimore City Master Gardener course and last week we talked about pollinators which is one of my favorite topics. It sparked me to look at my garden and what I plant. Last year, I planted sunflowers and theyĀ were great in my garden. I found that sunflowers attracted a myriad of bees and other pollinators.

This year as part of my work with BeeMore, I am going up my game a bit by planting additional sunflowers at different sites. I found some great resources on this and the ongoing Great Sunflower Project.

I will share more on my efforts to support Project Sunflower.

Michelle

 

Some Bee Facts

Since its the winter and my post from the hives are limited. I wanted to add some interesting bee facts that I found on the internets.

Fun facts about bees:

  • Honeybees are the only insect that produces food eaten by humans.
  • Worker honey bees are female.
  • Drones are male honey bees.
  • The average worker bee produces only 1/12 teaspoon of honey over her lifetime.
  • A worker bee lives about 6 weeks. The queen bee can live to be 5 years old.
  • Honey never spoils.
  • To make one pound of honey, bees must visit 2 million flowers.
  • There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven recognized biological families. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.

I thought that some of these facts may be helpful getting to know more about the ever important bee.

Michelle

Viva la Abeja! Long live the Bee!

 

Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find active bees building comb in Hive 1 at the Woodland site.Ā  See video below:

IĀ  only checked because I have been working on the greenhouses at Woodland for the winter season. I have been amazed by the greenhouse results so far. Below are some photos from my other project which is greenhouses. It has been exciting watching the progress.

Thanks for checking out the site and now I will be making at least two bee candy bars!

Michelle šŸ™‚

 

Finally, fall in Baltimore…

The “real” fall has finally arrived in early November in Baltimore. Above are some photos of the Woodland garden from this week and I was lucky enough to have some help from Sophia on Monday.

This week it has been colder than its been all year and damp. I am always commenting (rather complain about) the dampness of Maryland despite growing up in the constant humidity of Miami, when it rains here and it under 50 degrees it’s really cold to me.. So this week when the temperaturesĀ hit 42, I was freezing.

The good news was that we can retire the summer crops but, the bad news was that it meant saying goodbye to some of these plants (the last gasp of my various tomatoes). Over the last few weeks, we moved seedling into the hoop houses at Woodland and we have been preparing the moisture levels in the houses for new plant life. This my first year using hoop housesĀ and I am excited about this project. I will share more photos of the winter oasis.

As for the bees… Not much movement for the last few days because of the dreary weather. Below are two days of photos. I fed the hives and when I thought all was calm, the guard bees on the more active hive let me know they were still around. The other hive was more docile.

Otherwise, I have been working on my indoor business activities and preparations for the winter. Hopefully, the weather does not take a turn for winter soon and the Friday freeze will be brief.

I will keep you updated!

Michelle

Flight of the drone

 

 

Here are some photos from mid-June 2017, when we 1st installed the hives at the Park Heights Community Health AllianceĀ site on Woodland avenue. I am lucky that my husband Warren (aka Hedgepeth) is a technology enthusiast and took some great photos with his new Mavic Pro drone which gave a bird’s eye view of the day. You can see that I am working on the farm while he flies over and around the hives.

I will include some video on a separateĀ post of the video of him installing the hive earlier in the month.

I thought these photos were neat so I wanted to share!

Michelle

The buzz

Recently, I saw a video on the science behind buzzing Ā fromĀ the New York Times on the matter and that I found it informative. I think the science behind bee behavior is interesting. I happened to take some new photos of bumble bees s at Park Heights garden the other day.

I thought that this post would be a good way to distinguishĀ the two. Ā Bumble or Mason Bees (pictured above) do not make honey but are very helpful pollinators. The Bumble bee lives in smaller numbers and they also do not produce wax and other by products. They are much larger and they are pretty harmless. Like most bees, if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

Interesting Fact: Ā “When bumblebees vibrate flowers to release pollen, the corresponding buzz is quite loud. Honeybees (genusĀ Apis) are incapable of buzz-pollination and are usually quiet when foraging on flowers. As an aside, some flowers are adapted to pollination by pollinators capable of “buzz-pollination.” Tomatoes, green peppers and blueberries all have tubular anthers with the pollen inside the tube. When the bee vibrates the flower, the pollen falls out of the tubular anther onto the bee. Consequently, bumblebees pollinate these crops much more efficiently than honeybees do.” Ā [Source Scientific American: Why do bees buzz?]

So be kind to the humble bumble bee! They are effective pollinators.

 

 

Bee Inspiration

This morning, I took some quick photos of the bees in my garden. They were sipping from the autumn sunflowers. I was inspired and in a positive frame of mind on my way to theĀ Ā Eastern Apiculture Society, Conference in Newark, DE, and I thought of the simple beauty of the bees.

I only found out about the conference the other day, so I ventured with my bee mentor Mick to the University of Delaware campus to see the gathering of beekeepers and to buy supplies directly from vendors at the conference. Ā Below are some photos of the different types of honey that were featured along with other products/crafts.

The bee crowd is friendly! I was able to get a great deal of good information in the short period of time that we spent in the exhibitor’s area. Ā Here is the link for Eastern Apiculture Society. Ā They are a wealth of information and I recently joined so that next year, I can participate when they go to Hampton, VA in August 2018.

 

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