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

New spring workers

Frame of nectar to be dehydrated into honeyWhen I checked the bees at the beginning of May, I was a bit concerned about one colony.  The hive was chock full of brood, but had only one shallow frame of honey, a vast reduction in stores since the last time I checked.  Would the bees keep consuming honey and starve despite the nectar flow?

A few days later, I noticed a lot of aimless activity in front of that hive.  Usually, a busy hive is like an airport with lots of takeoffs and landings, but this hive had a bunch of circling workers just wandering around in the air.  I'm pretty sure I caught the orientation flight of new foraging workers getting their bearings so that they'd know which hive was their home.

Sure enough, a hive check on May 13 showed that my hungry hive was honeyless no longer.  The bees were drawing out comb and filling it with nectar just as fast as their sister hives, making me think that we may need to make plans for our first honey harvest soon.

Our homemade chicken waterer is always POOP-free.

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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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