Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Great New Urban Beekeeping Book

Our new friend from London, Luke Dixon, as just had his book published about urban beekeeping called Keeping Bees In Towns and Cities.
From the publisher:
Luke Dixon is a professional beekeeper based in Soho, London. He manages hives for the London College of Fashion, Ted Baker, and Kensington Palace, among others, and keeps his own hives in the gardens of London's Natural History Museum. In the winter, when beekeeping duties slacken off, he returns to his first career as a theater director. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fox DC Piece On Colony Collapse Disorder-VIDEO

Yesterday the professor leading the George Washington University beekeeping program was interviewed on the local news regarding colony collapse and the threat of pesticides in the environment that affect bees.

For some reason, the embed link does not seem to be working, but here is the link to the video interview:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Busy Honey Day

Recently we were contacted by a home brewing company called Craft-A-Brew from Tampa, Fla.  They had jumped on the bandwagon of interest in the President's Whitehouse Honey Ale, brewed with honey collected from the hive located on the Whitehouse grounds.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trying To Make A Few Queens, Again - VIDEO

We broke out our newish queen rearing system to try our hand again at breeding a few queens.  As a reminder, we first tried our hand at this in June, and for either that we did not make the hive queenless ahead of time, or we were introducing the cell cups too soon into the hive, we were unsuccessful.  We also tried our hand at grafting, and were rewarded with one good cell from which emerges a healthy queen which now leads one of our nucs.  You never forget your first queen...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Successful Whole Foods Event

Today at the P Street Whole Foods we were asked to do a bee exhibit and Q & A during the evening rush.  This particular Whole Foods is located in an area of town that could be considered a little more open-minded than most other areas of the City, and ripe for our message and mission.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wax Moths, Walk Away Split


I have heard from a material number of local beekeepers about the preponderance of wax moths this year decimating their colonies.  And I guess that makes sense...the winter was mild and beneficial for our bees so why would it not be so for the other bugs that threaten our colonies?

Friday, September 14, 2012

White Oak Apiary Queens Arrive!

I generally hate the post office because they generally under-staff their post offices, are expensive, and they lie about shipping times.  In this case, these bees from 300 miles away shipped priority mail were in travel for a longer duration than my nuc's sent parcel post to Memphis.  Liars. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Capital Buzz Is Showing Tomorrow, Downtown

If you'd like to see the excellent documentary about beekeeping in the District, here is your chance to see in on a big screen at the E Street Theater at 11th and E St, NW.

Here is the link for the information:

This film is part of the DC Shorts series and is now nominates in the top 8 of "Best DC Shorts."  Come show your support and cast your vote, and support urban beekeeping!


Fall Beekeeping Class October 13 and 14

Back by popular demand...our two-day beekeeping class.

We eat and drink:

We build hives (which you take home with you):

We play with the bees on my roof (sporting your new veil we provide you):
And we make products from the hive including soap, candles, lip balm, and honey if it is in season.

Seriously, this two-day course (from 1-4 at my home in Georgetown) teaches basic beekeeping and handling on the first day, and we spend the second day making products from the hive.  You leave with a basic hive, a veil, and a great beekeeping book called The Backyard Beekeeper.

We limit the class to only six so the discussion is relaxed and interactive, with lots of time with the bees.  The cost is $300, but with all the equipment you are getting its almost like getting the class for free!

Please email me at if you are interested.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Harvest and Hive Inspection At Church Of the Pilgrims - VIDEO

We harvested honey from the three hives we have at the Church earlier this spring, but since it had been a while since we inspected these hives, and since the right Reverend Dr. Ashley Goff:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Queen Supplier - White Oak Apiary

We are busy putting together nucs to over-winter for next spring.  We typically do this by taking two or three frames of brood, a frame of honey, and a shaking of some bees from the hive and put them in our 6-frame nuc box, outfitted with a frame feeder.  We then feed with pollen substitute and syrup to get them plenty of population, drawn comb, and carbs to overwinter.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We Move a Hive Off a Roof In Logan Circle - VIDEO

Our friends who put a hive on their roof purely for the benefit of the bees are now moving to Houston, and thus need to decommission the hive.

We do this in two steps.  First note that this hive has a two-deep brood chamber with an (empty) honey super on it.  We are using ten-frame equipment, so there are 20 frames of bees in the brood chamber to move.

We divide these frames into sets of five, and put them in five-frame nuc boxes, these cardboard ones we purchase at Brushy Mountain.  That's a total of four boxes.  If the brood and honey/pollen frames are evenly distributed (3 frames of brood in each of the four boxes, plus honey frames) one could simply make four nucs to sell out of this one hive after requeening the three queenless boxes.

In this case, because it is late in the season and thus there was not a huge amount of brood in this hive, we will reconstitute this hive elsewhere as a single entity, and nurse it with syrup and pollen patties to confirm it has enough bees to go into winter.  We also will requeen with one of our excellent queens from Long Lane Honeybee Farms.

We transfer the four boxes of frames away from the hive (to my dining room) and will come back the next day to retrieve the equipment.  Hopefully at that point the stragglers will have left and I won't have to carry bee-covered equipment through the home of our friends.

Check out the video:

Also, don't forget to check out our store!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nuc Building Part ?? Our Bread and Butter Deep Nuc Revised.

I love the nuc that I designed with lots of help and from internet and other influential parties, as a nursery for future hives.  This original 6-frame nuc was originally highlighted here and had a number of advantages:
  • Used stock 1 x 12 lumber without ripping so needed nothing but a handsaw and screw driver;
  • Cost only about $22;
  • Was quick to build;
  • No fancy joinery;
  • Can hold FIVE FRAMES PLUS A ONE GALLON FEEDER, so great to overwinter nucs;
  • Long lasting with a painted finish.
The negatives were few, but one that I identified was the requirement to add the plywood inserts that act as a shelf for the deep frame.