Monday, November 29, 2010

Mount Vernon Triangle CID Strikes AGAIN!

The Mount Vernon Triangle CID has partnered with DC Honeybees for an installation at the Farm at Walker-Jones (  This grass-roots agricultural effort is adjacent to the new and awesome Walker-Jones school at New Jersey Avenue and K Street NW.  The school serves children from nursery through eighth grade in modern facilities and lots of green-space.  The farm grew its first crops this past season and plantings will increase markedly next year.

The CID and DC Honeybees approached the farm volunteers this fall to see of they would like to improve their pollination and include beekeeping practices in their agricultural curriculum.  I am pleased to hear that they have accepted our offer of a donation of a hive which we will populate with bees in early spring.  DC Honeybees will provide support and management of the hive and teach the children of this urban campus the benefits and basics of beekeeping in the city.  The prize of course will follow in the fall when the honey harvest begins and the children can taste items made with their honey in the school's kitchen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Late Fall Inspection

Probably our last view of flying bees until Spring.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2011 Bee Packages are EXPENSIVE!!!

Pricing and reservations for April delivery are being established by most of the major suppliers I track.  When one factors in shipping of 3 lbs packages they are running about $90 on the low end to to $140+ on the high!  Screw honey, we should all be getting into the live bee business.  It is a shame that we don't have a more active commercial apiary environment in the Metro DC area that would allow us to buy local bees bred for this climate and flow, and from whom we could pick up packages rather than dealing with the post office.  I am hoping our local beekeeping associations are planning a bulk buy from Georgia so I can grab a few packages there.

That said, I just put a UPS-shipped order in at Rossman Apiaries for a package of Italians, a breed with which I have yet to work and I hear good things about that supplier.  I think the total cost was around $90 and was among the most cost effective I found.  Gardner's Apiaries, which is a little less internet-savvy, is still showing 2010 pricing that is very competitive but unclear what the total with shipping will be.  I'd love to buy a package from Long Lane Honeybee Farms as their bees seem gentle, accustom to cold winters, and David has been very responsive to my prior inquiries.  His packages are running $106 (shipped USPS - ugh!) which isn't too bad but hard to rationalize at this moment.

In the meantime, this weather has been a boon for our colonies, with continued and aggressive pollen collection and consumption of 2/1 syrup.  Five hives today, five in March?