Friday, January 22, 2010

Bee Log #9: January 22, 2010

The flower above is a picture of a very fragrant Chinese witch hazel taken at the Washington Park Arboretum winter garden on January 15, 2010. Bee food is blooming when the bees can fly.

The other picture is the front of one of our hives taken January 21, 2010. The dead bees collect in the bottom of the hive and out in front of the hive.

We are starting to think about our bee needs for spring 2010. We want to have more hives in the neighborhood and are actively looking for people who want bees in their back yard. We would like to find 3 such yards for this summer. That means that we need to buy 12 bee hives if each location has 4 hives. We have not gotten as far as ordering new boxes or bees yet. We don't have any actual places to put them yet! If anyone is reading this and lives in the north end of Seattle and would like to have bees in their yard, let me know.

We have one hive of bees that is quite active. They are busy bringing in yellow and white pollen and the young bees are out front practice flying. That hive must be more cold tolerant than the other hives or more hungry. Why would one hive be very active at about 52 degrees and the other hives just sending our a bee now and then? I don't know! We shall look for great things from that hive this summer (or an early swarm).

We have not looked in the hives yet this year and won't for about a month. The weather is too unstable and too cold to risk disturbing the bees. If they are starting to raise young, then we could chill the brood killing them at a time when the bees are trying to build up population.

Puget Sound Beekeepers are meeting on Tuesday, January 25 at 6:30 pm for beginners and continuing at 7:30 for another talk. I want to be more involved but have yet to meet any other people at the meetings. I need to get more aggressive. I see that the Puget Sound Beekeepers have an introductory beekeeping class that has only two sessions.

The Washington State Extension beekeeping class is currently meeting and is very worthwhile for someone who wants to keep bees. The meeting place is in south Everett and has people from 4 counties up and down the east side of Puget Sound attending.

A sad event has occurred in our Seattle back yard. All of our chickens have been killed. The probable culprit is a raccoon. We plan to get chicks soon to replace our hens.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bee Log #8: January 6, 2010

This picture was taken in Hood River, Oregon in late September, 2009. A honey bee is in the center of the flower.

Happy New Year! The days are starting to get longer and the weather in Seattle is slightly warmer. It was warm enough today that the bees got a little flying time. The pussy willows are starting to bud out and the witch hazel is starting to bloom. I love spring. I love Seattle's spring which seems to last from now until July 4th.

We hope to be back at the Phinney Farmers' Market the first of July.

Check out the list of vendors for Wallingford Urban Honey.