Bone Lake Meadows Apiary Blog

making the planet a better place one hive at a time.

bee video September 26, 2010

Filed under: bees — queen frederica @ 9:45 pm

Once we extract the honey, we give the box back to the bees so they can clean up the last bit of honey in there. After a week or so, we take the boxes off the hives for good because they are not needed. Today was the day.

The honey scent is still very strong so the bees sense that and are all here checking it out. They know it’s not their honey so they are basically robbing. Bees that rob are guilty as charged and rarely sting; they just fly away. I wasn’t wearing a veil on my walk out to these supers and was pelted in the face by a bee fleeing the scene. Just glad it was a head-on collision because a sting with that kind of speed hurts like heck..

Here is a video of bees on some supers in the yard this morning:

 

recent urban bee food September 15, 2010

Filed under: food sources — queen frederica @ 11:42 am

When I’m not doing the usual ‘bee stuff’ I work for a wonderful private gardening company. We go all over the metro area and take care of beautiful gardens… but a beautiful garden to me isn’t necessarily beautiful to most. I’m more of the ”if I can’t eat it or use it, I probably don’t want it” and the same rule applies for bees! Don’t get me wrong – I love flowers, but I love them more when it means a squash is on the way.

Our bees are out in rural areas and have plenty of  healthy food to pick from all summer long. It’s great that St. Paul and Minneapolis now allow hives in the city but I’ve always wondered what the buffet looks like for bees, as most urban gardens are chemically treated or of little value to bees. With my gardening job, I’ve been paying attention all summer to find out where the bees are going. There is always a little something out there and this is what I’ve been seeing in the past couple weeks:

Sedum

Turtlehead

Russian Sage

I do not know just how nutritious these are for bees but the amount of bees I see on them tells me it must be good. These are all perennials, take little to no maintenance and are all pretty. So, whether you are a gardener or not, it’s a great way to add color to your yard and help the bee population. And if I haven’t convinced you to plant these yet: perennials are dirt cheap right now at any home and garden store. (that was not a pun)

Happy Fall!

 

9/11 September 8, 2010

Filed under: markets and events,summertime happenings — queen frederica @ 8:29 pm

It’s that time of year again:

But just remember: What happens in Scandia, stays in Scandia.

It’s harvest time..come get your honey!

(cool poster, yeah?)

 

ribbons n street cred September 1, 2010

Filed under: markets and events,summertime happenings,team awesome — queen frederica @ 1:43 am

Being the ambitious newbee I am, entering my honey in the fair sounded like a great idea. Extracting honey is always fun but it was even more fun the night we a went into my hive to get a super (box of honey) for the fair.  You have an idea of what kind of honey you will be getting from each hive and super but it’s not really official until you start uncapping..

dorking out.

Expecting a lighter spring honey, I  opened the spigot and watched a beautiful amber colored goodness flow out. This definitely wasn’t the clover our pallets are all so used to here in Minnesota- and it Rocked.My.World. I should expect nothing less from Queen Frederica and all her badassary out there in the most beautiful meadow…

5th place white honey, novice class

I didn’t realize the amount of work that went into entering honey at the fair. I used every piece of advice received: getting the correct jars, only using fully capped frames of honey, waiting a week to bottle, skimming the bubbles off the bottled honey, et cetera. However, I am proud to say that I did not heat my honey. Heating honey (for the fair) is recommended because it makes for a clearer, cleaner honey that doesn’t run the risk of crystalizing if temperatures drop. Yes, it looks prettier heated but also changes the flavor. Can’t say I’ve ever been one to conform so I’m not planning on starting now..not for the sake of a ribbon!

5th place light amber honey, Open class

People stop by the table at markets and ask me if the honey is good. Duh, obviously it’s fantastic! Or at least that’s what the judges said about the honey I entered at the state fair this year. Maybe now I will start saying that instead of the smartypants comments that are usually sent out…then again, maybe not..

Summer really has been a blast and this is another thing to remember it by. Thanks Mike for putting up with all my nit picky crap building up to this.. and my apologies in advance for next year ;)