Friday, December 30, 2011

Pesticides and Colony Collapse Disorder

An excerpt from an article from the publication  "Pesticides and You" :

An internal EPA memo, leaked to the beekeeping community from an undisclosed source at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December 2010, shines a spotlight on a key deficiency in the agency’s efforts to protect honeybees. With the high percentage of disappearing bees (cited to be at 30 percent) and the collapse of their very social hive community, known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), hitting the front pages of news organizations, the leaked internal memo from the science division of EPA’s Office Pesticide Programs sent shock waves through organizations tracking bee health. After all, bees, as essential pollinators to food production, are a critical protector of life and the bellwether of environmental health.

Get the entire article HERE

Stingless Bees in Mexico

From Wikipedia:
Stingless bees, sometimes called stingless honey bees or simply meliponines, are a large group of bees (approximately 500 species), comprising the tribe Meliponini[1] (or subtribe Meliponina according to other authors[2]). They belong in the family Apidae, and are closely related to common honey bees, carpenter bees, orchid bees and bumblebees.[3] The common name is slightly misleading, as a great many other bee species, especially in the family Andrenidae, are also incapable of stinging, as are all male bees. Meliponines have stingers, but they are highly reduced and cannot be used for defense.[1]

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hot Process Soap Making - VIDEO

On a cold and rainy evening brother Ben (from Georgetown Honeybee Company) and I wrestle with hot process soap.  We use a variety if fats that also include lard and beeswax for this batch.  The measurements and lye amount are listed in the Description section on the YouTube site.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Making French-Milled Soap From Our Honey Soap - VIDEO

We use our soap scraps from making our bars of honey soap (video to come!) to recycle them into hand soaps using the french milling process.  This process begins by shredding the scraps and melting them into a new mass that can then be formed.  The form we use is a length of PVC drain pipe that makes soaps 2 inches in diameter that can be sliced into 1/2 inch thickness.  Other forms can be used to do the same but in different shapes. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dead Bees at Church of the Pilgrims

One hive down, and so early in the year.  I blame myself for not confirming they had enough stores, as it is clear that they starved.

Monday, December 19, 2011

January Beekeeping Class, PART DEUX - Another Class Scheduled

We are offering a beekeeping class in January, Sat the 28th and February 4 from 1 to 4 in Georgetown.

Build a hive that you can take home,  learn the basics of beekeeping, and make some cool stuff from the hive.  Room for five only so lots of opportunities for interaction and one-on-one.  On day two make soap, candles, and balms with beeswax.  If weather permits (unlikely but we may be lucky) the brave of heart can go to the roof and pet some bees.  Spring is just around the corner so get yourself fully prepared to jump in!!

The cost is $300 but you get the hive, frames, a veil, and a textbook as part of that so the class is nearly free!  What a terrific way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon.  We even serve wine so invite your friends and make it an event!

email me at if you are interested.

New T-Shirt Design

Here is the new t-shirt for the Georgetown Honeybee Company, our sister firm.

 Email me at if you'd like one.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cool Car Magnets

We've just ordered a bunch of these beekeeper's car magnets!

Let folks know about your passion for your hobby while you spread the word about the importance of bees to the environment.

Email me at if you'd like one.

Friday, December 16, 2011

January Beekeeping Class FILLED!

Great news for the bees, we have had excellent interest in this class.  Don't worry if you did not make this one!  We will plan to have another in February, dates to be determined.

Please email me if you are interested in receiving information about this February class at:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Funny Honey

Chinese honey, is it real, or counterfeit?

Monday, December 12, 2011

January Beekeeping Class

We are offering a beekeeping class in January, Sat the 14th and 21st from 1 to 4 in Georgetown. 

Enlighten Governance

Who would have thought Chicagoans would beat DC to embrace beekeeping:

 I have to say I prefer living in the gray zone rather than being told how many hives I can have....