Routine and Ritual

Routine and Ritual

My mother always told me that it was good to have a life bordered by regular daily routines. She learned will power and firm resolve when she was in the Hitler Youth in Germany. The Youth program was all about self discipline and strong bodies. Hitler was growing a powerful army out of those school…

Beginning the Bee Year

Beginning the Bee Year

Sadly, my last colony perished this past week. I believe it was queen failure. The hive was full of honey, and not a single bee. So, for the first time in years, my garden is quiet. I’ve decided to only host four colonies this year—three skeps and my wall hive. So, today, I got to…

Winter Reflections

Winter Reflections

I have had a surprising winter with my bees, and sadly, not in a good way. I have very rarely lost bees in winter in my skeps. But this winter, I’ve lost nearly all of them. And I’m not sure yet why. I started the autumn with five hives (4 skeps and 1 in-wall hive)….

Looking Back on a Busy Summer

Looking Back on a Busy Summer

It is early August, and here in the Pacific Northwest, we are hot hot hot. We’ve had several weeks on and off of 90-plus temperatures, and the ground is hardened and cracked. Many of my plants have burned, not for want of water–which I am pouring on–but simply from being made toast by the blistering…

2018 Spring in My Skep Apiary

2018 Spring in My Skep Apiary

Spring in the bee yard: Is there any better time of year? Here in the Pacific Northwest, we had a loooong winter with much dreariness, but only a couple events of cold, ice, and snow. Last autumn, I found myself with four thriving hives: Three in straw, and one in my last top bar hive….