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

The hives are buzzing

Bee on woodland sunflower

Busy hive I've been giving sugar water to our two new colonies every time the feeders empty, but at the beginning of this week I decided they needed to start slowing down their brood-raising for winter, so I let the feeders run dry.  I expected that would mean bee activity outside the hive would slow down, but instead, I noticed bearding again on our Warre package hive.  I couldn't even get the camera close without a bee suit, so I haven't looked inside yet, but I'll probably add another box today just in case.

Seeing the bearding on one hive prompted me to check on our other colonies, and all were buzzing with life!  My beekeeping mentor (aka my movie-star neighbor) told me Wednesday that his hive was hopping, which he attributed to the jewelweed flowers opening up.  Just within fifteen feet of one hive, though, I saw jewelweed, woodland sunflower, and virgin's bower all coming into bloom, so I suspect this nectar flow is due to a mixture of fall flowers.  Maybe the fall flow will be strong enough that we'll get to harvest a bit of honey from our two-year-old hive despite their swarm this spring.

Our chicken waterer is a POOP-free treat for permaculture chickens.

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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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