The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.


Our neighbor's bee hives

Our movie star neighbor had noticed a lot of bees hanging around on the front of the hive, which led him to believe they might be getting ready to swarm.  Since he had to leave town for the weekend, he asked if we could drop by and check on the apiary.  We were more than happy to oblige.

I didn't notice any swarm activity, although I did see some bees sitting around on the front wall of one hive.  I've seen this on my own hives in the past, and at first was terrified it meant I'd missed the boat and let a hive reach swarming stage.  But each time, the bees hanging out on the sidewall just turned out to be a new batch of worker bees, getting used to the great outdoors.  A day or so after the sitting stage, they reach the aimless flight stage, and the next day the hive is back to normal, just with yet more workers flying in and out.  I'm hopeful our neighbor will come home to happy, productive hives.

Our movie star neighbor is also the one who got us started on chickens leading to our homemade chicken waterer.  Thanks, Frankie!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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