đŸŒ» Sunflower Starters đŸŒ»

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 🍀

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

Michelle

Project Sunflower

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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 they 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

 

Brief Spring in Baltimore

Above is a quick video of the bees in🐝 Park Heights on a warm winter day this week! This is the one surviving hives from one of the other beekeepers at the site.

The temperature was over 70 degrees that day and there is some clover on the field. It’s was a great day for getting out of the hive.

Michelle

Extracting Honey – Part 1

Today, I started the honey extraction process. There are a few tools and items you want to have on hand when you are doing this process:

  • 8×10 Tarp (Camping Grade)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket (food grade w/ cover)
  • A Capping Knife or Tool
  • A few pairs of Disposable Gloves
  • A Honey Strainer or Mesh Bag
  • A Spatula
  • Newspaper, Plastic containers and other things to mitigate the mess.

Here is a link to a video that explains the steps I took to do this first extraction. I only did a few frames so, I will post additional updates on the process to share the efficiencies that I have found.

Just in case you missed it! Check out the Extraction Video

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

This Weekend: Biodynamic Beekeeping Event at WWS!

An interesting seminar being held in Washington, DC.

Green Dragon Bytes

Join our sister school, the Washington Waldorf School,  for a two session workshop on Biodynamic Beekeeping with Gunther Hauk of Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary on Friday, January 19th, 6:30pm-9pm, and Saturday, January 20th from 9:30am -12:30pm. The workshops are free, and more information can be found below. RSVP’s are required and can be made here. The Facebook event can be found here.

WWS beekeeping flyer

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New Videos

 

I started playing around with a new program Adobe Spark and it is a great tool! The program creates online slideshow videos, social media posts, and other great marketing items.  Over the next few weeks, I will be developing new videos and presentations for BeeMore.

Check out our About BeeMore video and pass it on to your friends so that they can learn more about BeeMore.

Thanks!

Michelle

 

 

The warm up…or really more of the same.

This morning, I ventured out to check on the hives and greenhouses after the deep freeze of the past two weeks.  A found a few bees working in the hive which was a good sign. The white stuff is the sugar or bee candy that I made a few weeks ago.

Most of the vegetation in the area is still frozen from the frost but, its good to see that my bees persist.  Even though 40+ degree weather feels balm to us because of the persistent cold, to the bees it’s just another winter day.

Stay Warm!

Michelle

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Winter Work

Part of the winter beekeeping work is rehabbing equipment for the next season. I wanted to share the details for those who may inherit or have to reuse their previous year’s equipment.

The purchasing of pre-owned equipment is often tricky because beekeepers are wary of stuff that they do not have knowledge of because it may have been infected by American Foulbrood or other diseases that may have caused the colony to collapse.

My thought in documenting this process was to better inform potential beekeepers of some of the steps of maintenance in the offseason. Thus, the preparing boxes for reuse is a key task because if you have bees that die of other causes you can still reuse the equipment if you take right precautions and these steps also help you to preserve your equipment investment.

These are boxes that I purchased earlier this fall from a fellow beekeeper that had some damage due to wax moth damage. In order to reuse these boxes, I had to scrape and clean them outside. Lucky, I did this work before the super cold snap (in Nov/Dec 2017), and I used some straightforward tools that I got from the $1 store (note: small and large paint scrapers). I also used the hose at high pressure to blast of the last cocoons. Once the boxes were dry, I brought them indoors and with the help of Katie S, we started the next phase.

It is recommended to burn the leftover wax and inside corners of the boxes, thus removing all of the yucky remnants. For safety, we had a fire extinguisher on hand and since I am walking accident, I left the blowtorch work to Katie. She also used a small tool to clean out the top crevices of the boxes as well.

Finally, painting the outside of the boxes with two coats of outdoor high gloss paint gave the boxes a new life. The boxes will be airing out for the winter so that there is plenty of time for any fumes to dissipate. The painted boxes will weather longer and hold up to the elements much better than untreated wood.

Note: That it is less expensive to buy unpainted equipment and do it yourself if you are purchasing a large number of boxes. There are often deals on bulk boxes and new bee equipment but, if you are buying a single hive, the price difference is slight. I suggest that you go ahead and pay the extra $5-7 for painted boxes, it is worth the money and time.

In future posts, I will share the artistic transformation of these boxes. I will also share the assembly process of the many new boxes that I purchased this summer.

Michelle

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