Roasted Honey Mead – AWESOME!

Christmas Day 2016, we tasted my first mead… and it was bad. So while I am an amateur (for now) I am determined to get it right. “The secrete to doing anything is believing that you can do it,” – Bob Ross. If you have followed any of my Mead blogs, then you know that…

Linda Passed Away

“A year from now you may wish you had started today,” Karen Lamb I have been overwhelmed as of late. I can’t put my finger on the exact cause of this feeling but it is there just the same and it has been crushing my productivity. Nonetheless, Monday (12/4/17) I finally managed to winterize my…

Drones at the edge of winter

Link to YouTube Here “Never trust a woman, even though she has given you ten sons,” Chinese Proverb That’s a fitting quote given that my hive is full of sons (drones). This is a heartbreaking event so late in the year. While doing a little winter preparation, I opened up the first hive (Hive-VSH) and…

Pear Mead: One Month Out

“In wine there is truth,” Pliny the Elder… and with a name like that, you have to believe him. I spent the weekend doing chores around the house. Of my many tasks, Sunday I bottled the Pear Mead I made on 9/24/2017. Mistake 1: While I was preparing to bottle, I kept thinking there are…

Failure: My First Hive Removal

He looked so happy… He had no idea ofthe carnage to come. My fortune cookie Saturday night read, “Failure is the chance to do better next time.”  Saturday, Noah and I performed our first hive removal. While this could prove to be a good little side business, we didn’t charge. One reason that we didn’t…

What if my alpacas get flees and other insane thoughts

“It is always darkest just before the day dawneth.” Thomas Fuller, circa 1650 I woke up at 3:30am and my first thought was, “What if my alpacas get flees?” It would be a reasonable question… If I had alpacas! It all started partly because my wife is afraid that opossums will eat our beloved chickens….

The Magnificent Seven

Hive-B.1.1.VSH “Adopt the pace of nature: her secrete is patients.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson I’m down to (8) hives; one at the old farm and seven at Dr. D’s. However, three of those hives are from recent splits. Given my recent loses, I’ve been obsessing over these remaining hives. The thought wakes me up at…

Facing Reality – The Hive Count

“Most people give up just when they are about to achieve success.” – Ross Perot My heart kept whispering that quote in my ear yesterday to keep my brain from acknowledging my eyes. So what had my eyes seen? Hive-A.1.VSH was empty. The strong, healthy hive that I had harvested from this year and was…

Part 1 of 3 – Beetles, Chickens, and Mead

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein It is never my intention to spin my mistakes into a positive light for the sake of my ego. Nonetheless, Saturday’s splits have taught me a valuable lesson. When performing a walkaway split, with a strong hive, in the same…

Part 2 of 3 – Beetles, Chickens, and Mead

“What is best in life?”  “Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.” – Conan the Barbarian, 1982 Clockwise: Amelia Egghart, Bernice, Melba, Marsala,and Spot is off camera.  Part-2: The Chickens and the Beetles: I like my chickens and my wife loves them but I have questioned my decision…

Part 3 of 3 – Beetles, Chickens, and Mead

“I have never seen mead enjoyed more in any hall on earth.” Beowulf If you keep bees and have never tried mead then you have missed the point of beekeeping. Mead has as many variations as wine or beer but has it’s own unique identity. Since I live in Mississippi, the only mead that seems…

Walkaway Splits – Right & Wrong

“If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly first.” – Joel Salatin All of my hives at Dr.D’s are spaced 18″ apart in all directions Work and weather have stifled my beekeeping but it hasn’t stopped me completely. Saturday, my wife and I went out to Dr. D’s place and split Hive-B.1 &…

Miller Method – (8) Cells and (1) Virgin Queen

“You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need.” – the Stones I miscalculated the birth of the queens. On my queen rearing spreadsheet, queens hatch at (16) days – however, that is from the day the egg is laid. The queen actually hatches just…

Chickens Day 1

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore RooseveltSaturday I bought five Barred Rock chickens – that’s not…

My First Successful Grafts

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.” James Allen At least two of my grafts have been accepted. This is…

More Queens Than A Cher Lookalike Contest – Graft #2

“Agh, that is bad luck. But grandfather say, ‘It never rain everyday.’” – Mr. Kim, The Fifth Element I’ve been quoting that line since 1997 (holy shit – I just realized how old that movie is… even worse… how old I am) – actually I’ve been misquoting it, as the case may be, since I always say, “It can’t rain…

A New Hope and a small harvest

“We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.” – C3PO Maybe a little dramatic for an opener but it has been an up hill battle with these beetles. However, yesterday it appeared that I have finally gotten the upper hand. “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.” – Han Solo I only found (1)…

The Beetles Kill Another Hive

The bottom board of Hive-D “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me,” John Lennon… but then John never kept bees! I was sure that all was well in my home apiary. I had strong (though queenless) hives and minimal comb. So you can imagine my surprise yesterday afternoon, when I went to check…

A Good Day to Make Splits

“Five hundred. … five hundred fights, that’s the number I figured when I was a kid. Five hundred street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being…

Schrödinger’s Cat and My Bees

“Now he found himself lying in his rumpled bed and wondering if this was how you came untethered from the real, rational world. If this was how it started when you lost your mind.” Stephen King – Four Past Midnight. I held my breath while I searched the hive but it was for nothing – the…