Tag Archives: CO

Colorado Natural Beekeeping classes announced 2013

We have announced our 2013 spring bee guardianship classes in Colorado!
We are excited to offer beginner, intermediate and advanced classes in
Boulder, Fort Collins, Carbondale, and Paonia.
You can register for the classes and find out more information,
at BackYardHive.com

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Journaling about your hive

Journaling about your hives is a great way to take note of how the hive is doing and a good way to keep track of things that need to be done with the hive as well as a fun way to refer back to what the hive was like during different stages and over several years.

For me, I always think that I’ll remember everything that goes on with the hives but when I don’t journal about it, I sometimes forget those little important details about the hive and then 3 months down the road I notice the hive is doing exceptionally well or maybe they’re not doing as well as they were the year before, than I can refer back to the journal as to weather patterns, what the hive is doing, how the bees seem, what I did with the hive in the past year, etc. It definitely comes in handy and is very informational to be able to refer to each time when going into your hive/s.

I also like to take pictures of the hive through the window before and after going into the hive as another way of observing the bees and overall hive view. Hive journals definitely become very fun and interesting scrapbooks years down the road as well!

Here is a list of some things to include in you bee journal:

~Date bees where placed in the hive (or year of the hive)                                                             ~Overall temperament of the hive and where the bees came from: local swarm, package of bees, nuc, etc. (Include as much information as possible about where the bees came from including hive type and age of hive)
~Date of first pollen coming in and the source if known
~Date of first dandelions blooming

More things to keep in mind and journal about each time visiting your hive:

~ Date, weather, temperature, time of the day, overall mood of bees, clenliness of landing board, drone population and any other observations you notice.

~If opening the hive, it’s helpful to also include reason for opening hive and your observations while working the hive, what you accomplished or hoped to accomplish, note anything that needs to be done in the hive, prospective date and check it off when completed. Any observations about your hive or the local environment and weather.

~ It’s always fun to take before and after pictures as well as photos through the window at different times of year and stages of the hive.

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Save the Dandelions in the City of Boulder!

I just got home from an event at the Boulder courthouse on pearl street where about 100 people gathered to protest the spraying of dandelions on city and park property. It was a great event with many kids going up to speak about the importance of dandelions and chemical free lawns. My first thought upon hearing about the city killing the dandelions was: “what about the bees? My hives are right near open space and city property?! They need those flowers!!” I wrote a letter about what I would say on the importance of dandelions for the honeybees so that if I did pluck up my courage and become so inclined to speak at this event, I’d be all set. Sure enough, I decided to read my letter to the crowd with much praise and excitement afterword for bringing up the impact pesticides have on the local bees. Continue reading

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Spring Cleaning in a Top Bar Hive

Claire with hive

As spring is in full swing and we see a growing nectar flow in the Boulder area, it’s that time of year to start thinking about spring cleaning in the hives. In the next few weeks is the time to harvest most of the overwintered honey, nectar and pollen and open up the brood nest for the queen to lay by putting a couple empty top bars in between the honey stores and brood nest so that the queen will know about and utilize the empty space in the hive for laying brood and building up honey stores while the nectar flow is strong. Continue reading

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Early Pollen from the Birch Trees of Eldo

Honeybee on Birch blossom

Where is all of this pollen coming form?? This question has been ever present in all of our minds these past few weeks. The silver maple trees haven’t started blooming yet, nor have the dandilions….

The answer presented itself one sunny day in the form of  a low humming buzz that filed the air near the creek in Eldorado Springs.

While walking near the creek last week, Corwin heard the sound of very excited honeybees. The sound was coming across the creek. As he listened and waded across the creek, the buzz of excitment grew steadily louder. After a short distance away from the riverbank, Corwin came across a little grove of birch trees and found hundreds of bees flying around in excitement as they gathered very precious early spring pollen from these little birch trees hidden by the river.

Birch Tree

This first pollen source is especially valuable for the bees as it is used to make bee bread to nourish the 3 day old larva into becoming strong and vibrant honeybees for the first wave of spring!

Bee on birch bud

Photos taken By Corwin Bell

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Spring is coming…

Claire with overwintered Comb

I visited my hive yesterday on one of our warm sunny days and the bees were just buzzing with excitement as if to say “Look! Spring is almost here!”. Many of the bees were even coming back with a light yellow pollen on their legs!

The hive is just jam packed so I decided to do some housekeeping and take out a comb of honey while scraping off a bit of another comb for them to clean because I didn’t leave enough bee space for them to maintain it when I put it in last fall.

Lemon Balm Hive 3/12/10 bees with pollen on legs

As I looked at this comb of honey, I was shocked to see little white specks in it and I immeditely got rather scared they were infected with some sort of bug. Then Gail came and said it looks like crystalized honey, we tasted it and problem solved…

Claire looking at comb

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