Welcome to our blog!

The latest buzz from our apiaries.

Spring 2012 MBA Conference

Once again we're down at Kellogg Conference Center on Michigan State University's Campus. We're here for the annual Michigan Beekeepers Association Spring Conference. This year the crowd seems larger than ever, and if you don't get a seat in the breakout sessions 30...

Beekeeping in South Africa

On a recent trip to South Africa I had an opportunity to check out the beekeeping situation there. The Honeybadger Beekeeping Equipment provider in Pretoria is an outfit that keeps and sells bees, sells honey and beekeeping equipment and also provides beekeeping...

Backyard Queen Rearing

Last year we attempted to raise our own queens via grafting and didn't meet with much success. The only way we seemed to be able to raise our own queens was to simply split in the Spring and make sure the queenless side of the split had young brood to raise their own...

The Big One That Got Away…

Last weekend it was very hot and muggy here in Michigan.   The thermometer in the truck indicated 93 degrees when my son and I returned after lunch to our garden.   We've co-located our family vegetable garden with one of our bee yards.  This was our second attempt to...

Making Splits and Queens

We've been very busy in our apiary the past week or so splitting our stronger wintered colonies.   When conditions are right in the Spring, a healthy colony of bees will see its population expand very rapidly.  Unless the beekeeper intervenes, the old queen will leave...

Spring Artisans

It's that time of the year. Upon exiting the worship service this past Sunday evening in Grand Rapids, we were pleasantly surprised to see a large swarm of honey bees hanging around 30 feet off the ground on a tree in the front yard. Evidently, the nearby hive of an...

Our Walter T. Kelley Factory Tour

In our home town of Hudsonville, MI there is a wonderful family owned local hardware store. While the nearby Lowes or Home Depot hardware store monstrosities likely offer better prices on the parts we need to fix our leaky toilet, or damaged window screen, we wouldn't...

2011 Michigan Beekeepers Conf.

Day 1 Last week Mieke and I made our annual trek to Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI to attend the Michigan Beekeeper Association's Spring Conference. Once again we had an enjoyable time at the conference, meeting and chatting with fellow beekeepers, and...

The Survivors!

We recently experienced that February thaw we were waiting for here in Michigan.  I couldn't wait to get over to our apiary to see how my girls fared over the cold winter months.  We were quite happy to discover that at the moment all of our colonies that went into...

Dennis vanEngelsdorp’s plea for bees

There are a lot of very good TED talk videos available online, and a few not so good ones as well. Whether you are interested in honeybees or not, this is a TED talk that everybody should watch! If you have any other "must watch" videos on the plight of the honeybee,...

Mite Warfare!

The honey has been harvested, but there is still plenty of work to do in the bee yard.  A large part of that work in these waning days of summer involve us helping the bees get ready for the long Michigan winter.  In addition to making sure the bees have enough honey...

Honey Harvest 2010!

August is the month we remove surplus honey from our colonies.  We started the process last week, and plan to remove the last batch this week.  This was actually one of our better years, given the combination of an abundance of moisture and warm sunny weather.   By...

Luke’s Pets…

Tuesday morning this week, I found myself along with my 6 year old son Luke in the bee yard at 6:30am.  Luke's class had "pet day" at school, and the only "pets" we have at the moment are our bee colonies.  One of the things Luke amuses himself with when he tags along...