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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.
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Tuesday, November 01, 2022
I am excited to support the Bee Informed Partnership where we all get so much good information about our bees. I have two quilted items in the auction this year. The auction runs from now until November 7.
Here's a link to the auction...there are wonderful items up for bid, all of which benefit this organization which is so helpful to bees and beekeepers.
Below are photos of my two quilted items in the auction: a bag, suitable as a knitting bag or a purse and a bee-themed table runner.
Friday, October 14, 2022
Monday, September 19, 2022
Honey shows are a challenge for me because my essential tremor makes it difficult to get a honey jar perfectly ready for presentation. So I rarely enter honey in honey shows any more, except for black jar contests. But most honey contests have other aspects - wax, crafts, baked goods, photography, etc.
This year for my home club (Metro Atlanta Beekeepers) a friend of mine and I were in charge of the food for the potluck and honey show on Sunday the 18th. It's a busy job and requires organization, getting the plates, silverware, drinks, etc and the main dish - usually barbecue or fried chicken - for the event. With all of that, I had decided not to enter anything this year.
But then Saturday rolled around and I had nothing to do so I decided to spend the day baking. I baked honey whole wheat bread twice because I didn't like the taste of the first recipe which was a steel cut oat honey bread. I switched to a rolled oatmeal bread which I liked better from Beth Hensperger. I also baked honey wheat germ cookies (a Dorie Greenspan recipe) that are delicious. And finally I baked a David Tanis recipe for an apple honey cake.
The honey oatmeal whole wheat bread won a blue ribbon (and $100). The judge suggested that it needed a stronger honey taste. I had used a mild honey and will use a stronger tasting honey the next time.
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Friday, September 09, 2022
In the fall, many bee clubs and organizations hold honey and wax shows. This month I did a crossword on getting ready to enter a honey and wax show. Here it is, if you'd like to try:
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Last year I moved to a house with a yard big enough for my bees and my dog. This year I got CHICKENS!
Thursday, August 25, 2022
This article is circulating among beekeepers right now. Everyone needs to know how bad it is that fake honey is in the market. I tell everyone to buy local honey - better yet, buy from a beekeeper you know. This article focuses on on-purpose dilution of true honey.
As beekeepers, we also are possibly bottling honey that isn't real unless we truly take precautions. If you never feed your bees, then most likely your honey is pure nectar-based honey (unless your bees find a candy factory as in this article!). The French bees in the article produced blue and green "honey."
To be absolutely sure that you are harvesting pure honey, there are a couple of things you can do:
1. When/if you feed your bees, put food coloring in the sugar syrup. Blue is a good choice. Then if you pull a frame to harvest and the honey is blue or bluish, you can know that the honey contains sugar syrup.
2. Put a mark on the boxes that were filled with honey before you feed the bees and you can be assured that if you harvest from the marked boxes, you'll have pure honey in the frames and not honey that has been contaminated with syrup.
3. Never feed your bees during the nectar flow.
This is not an issue for me in that most years I don't need to feed my bees and if I feed the bees, I harvest long before that happens.