Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DC Honeybees Happy Hour

Friendly reminder to all our DC followers...grab a beer with some beekeepers at Jack Rose (Adams Morgan) tonight beginning at 630.  Katy will be there so volunteers please introduce yourself to her as she is the master of the hive management calendar.


Monday, September 26, 2011

DC School Garden Week

Today was the kick off event for DC School Garden Week, which DC Honeybees is a proud participant of. As I've done in the past, I gave several beehive demonstrations to groups of kids at The Farm at Walker Jones during the farm tour. But this time, the hives we maintain were spruced up by fabulous signs created by a local artist and recent Corcoran graduate, Sarah Robbins.

Sarah secured her BFA in May and currently works for the Corcoran College of Art and Design. The signs look wonderful and will definitely mitigate the questions I get about the queen. For some reason, kids are enthralled about the queen and always ask to see her...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Making 2:1 Sugar Syrup For Bees - Video

Now that fall is coming the bees need all the resources they can store to make it through winter, especially bees that were installed just this year.  A heavier syrup, called 2 to 1, is a concentrated cocktail that ought to get them storing sugar.  That is: 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. 

Boneta Reserve Visit, Paris, Virginia

We manage a couple of hives out in Paris, Virginia at this farm that is both an animal rescue preserve and a working organic farm and stand.  They have emus, goats, sheep, cows, chickens and ducks.  I think that covers all of it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pollinators Recognized

 After leaving the 5th Annual Teachers Night held at the US Botanical Gardens on Thursday, I was pleased to receive a poster that celebrated bees! Well, native bees.

Too bad the honey bee wasn't listed, as it isn't actually native to the US.

The common honey bee, Apis mellifera, has roots in Africa. About two million years ago, a branch of honey bees moved their hives indoors to the Winnie the Pooh-style, hole-in-the-tree type of  shelter.These bees slowly made their way up to Europe and further evolved to adapt to winter.

With the introduction of beekeeping, honey bees were transported around the globe -- especially after the Langstroth hive was invented in 1851. Now, because our beloved honey bee is technically an exotic species, one could argue their existence is not that vital to local pollination.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bees for Kindergarteners

My challenge today was to make about a dozen 5 year olds embrace bees -- which wasn't easy at first.

First of all, I'm behind the hives, lighting paper on fire -- a definite kindergarten no-no. Then I'm telling them to come and look closely at the frame covered in bees...

But once we settled the screams and panic attacks about stingers, they slowly started to come around.

The difficult part for me, was making the bees sound interesting on a kindergarten level.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DC Honeybees Helping the Smithsonian

This is what is cool about living in this city.  I got an email from noted DC beekeeper and bee promoter Toni Burnham searching for some frames of honey for these hives at the Natural History Museum.  Their hive has been slow to forage this year, and even though they have been feeding the colony sugar water, it has not expanded or deposited much in the way of resources this season.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

DC Honeybees Happy Hour - SCHEDULED!!!

Ok, here we go.

The happy hour is planned for Wednesday, September 28, 6:30.  Venue, Jack Rose Saloon in Adams Morgan.  Find us upstairs on the deck or in the ante room on the same level.  Parking is relatively simple if you are willing to pay a few bucks at the garage right off of Florida Ave (north of where it intersects with U St).  Meet our new Executive Director Katy, trade stories, and enjoy a beer with kindred spirits.  Hope you can make it!!


Sucessful Course Participants - PG County CC Beekeeping

In our second of our three-day course our participants got to have some real-time experience in the hive to work the bees.  The course, which originally had six folks registered, winnowed its way down to three, and today just two attendees.  That makes it easier and less formal for me, and more like private instruction for the group.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bee Tea Video

As we get into the end of the season one needs to be thinking about positioning the colony with both population and resources to get through the winter, the most dangerous time for the hive.

Population is a careful balance...too many bees and the colony will race through their stored honey stores, fuel they need to stay warm.  to few and they won't be able to create a large enough cluster to heat themselves or the brood.

So what to do...I always err on the side of heat and thus want my colony larger than most and my stores heavy with carbohydrates:  honey and sugar syrup.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Would You Do To Feed Bees?

Would you climb this ladder, in the rain a skirt?

That's what I did today, so that our hives in Mount Vernon Triangle wouldn't go hungry. As it's just about my second week as executive director, I haven't visited all of our hives, yet, but I'm working on it. Today, I set off to feed the two hives on the rooftop of this building. Granted it's a one-story building, but I had to lug my milk jug full of sugar water and beehive smoker.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DC Honeybees Happy Hour

As we end the season, hopefully successful for most of you, I was thinking it might be appropriate to arrange some drinks at a local watering hole to share stories, ask questions, meet our new executive director and otherwise have a cocktail amongst kindred spirits.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bread for the City Bees

I checked in on our hive at Bread for the City today, and it looks great! The bees seem to be taking to the division board feeder.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beekeeping Course

Now that I have this beekeeping course under my belt at the Prince Georges County Community College, I can replicate the syllabus in the District.  I have received numerous emails from folks asking about courses in the City, so now, let's see if we can get a few of you committed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Photoshoot at Farm at Walker Jones

I hope all this attention doesn't go to my head!!  I received a call from a reporter who does a segment for the Washington Post Magazine called First Person Singular.  They were anxious to interview a beekeeper, which as it happens I am.  The photographer has some pretty particular requirements for the shoot, and was afraid of our roof, so we ended up shooting at 7am at the Farm at Walker Jones.

Monday, September 5, 2011

We Have T-Shirts

We now have T-shirts available in small through extra large.  Want one?


As I write this, I am surrounded by the buzzing of hundreds of bees that have made it into the house thanks to my own stupidity, and my fingers look like sausages thanks to the stings I worked through to solve this crisis.