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.
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.
Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find active bees building comb in Hive 1 at the Woodland site. See video below:
I 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!
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 temperatures 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 houses 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.
Last week, we got out to add a new top box and feed the bees. As I mentioned before, yes you have to feed the bees to supplement the what they forage at the garden. Warren, my Mom, and Sophia helped out a great deal with documenting the process. We also had the drone out so, I will add video to the site as a seperate post.
The digital SLR photography for this was done by my 11-year-old Sophia and my Mom (Valerie) took the next set of shots on her iPhone to add some more perspective. I am very lucky to have so much talent in documenting the process.
VDB – Sophie and Warren
My photographer getting ready
The new frame feeders are nice and they take around one gallon of bee syrup per hive. It is not a lot but, it’s a good start. In this batch of syrup, I used 1:1 sugar/water mix with essential oils like (tea tree, lavender, and thyme oil).
I checked on the hives the other day and they were both active and healthy so much so that I could not get close enough to add my feed without the guard bees getting excited. So, I added a half a bottle but had to walk away. I tried to use my dried herb as smoker fuel, it works but does not last as long as the stuff you buy. I think I will mix both and test my results.
I also used the newly painted boxes (I let them air out for 3 weeks), so the site has a bit of art with the new equipment. I will post again soon. Let me know what you think?
An shot of the Park Heights Garden on Woodland Ave
Here are some photos from mid-June 2017, when we 1st installed the hives at the ParkHeights Community Health Alliance 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 separate post of the video of him installing the hive earlier in the month.
I thought these photos were neat so I wanted to share!