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

Preparing for the basswood nectar flow

Honeybee colony

Our new package hasn't done all that much, but they seem to have settled into their box of partially-drawn comb, and perhaps have drawn a bit more.  By listening at the side of each box, I gather that the top box is completely empty still, so the colony has plenty of room to spread out.  These guys are going through a quart of heavy sugar water every two to three days, but seem to be finding lots of wild food as well.  Since the workers are bringing home plenty of pollen, I'm assuming the queen is laying and the hive will be expanding soon.

Empty hive box

Since I added two empty boxes to the bottom of our oldest warre hive, taking a photo up through the bottom only tells me so much.  But I'm guessing by the mass of bees I can see between the bottom box's bars (and by listening at the side of each box) that the bees have drawn comb in the next box up and are hard at work there.  They're also buzzing busily in the third box from the bottom, but the fourth box up has gone much quieter, suggesting it's full of capped honey.

Basswood flower buds

Neither hive needs another box yet, but I'm going to keep a close eye on them since the basswood buds look nearly ready to open.  This has been a stellar year for nectar, and I suspect that with the help of the basswood, I'll be getting an appreciable harvest from the older warre hive despite their swarm.

Our chicken waterer keeps hens happy with clean water.

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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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