Bone Lake Meadows Apiary Blog

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

Another adventure for winter October 4, 2011

Filed under: kelseybee!,team awesome — queen frederica @ 10:37 am

Hello from the 100 Acre Wood, also known as the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England. Unexpectedly, it’s been quite sunny and nice out but it is most definitely fall. The leaves are beginning to change and the grapevines are the most beautiful shade of red. Things are starting to slow down and prepare for a winter rest.

You might wonder what I am doing here or why I am writing about it because it has nothing to do with bees or honey. No, I am not just writing to talk about the English countryside and the romance of it all. I have come here to a tiny village called Forest Row to study something very relevant and important to honeybees. For the next 18 months I am being trained in biodynamic horticulture at one of my new favorite spots on the globe: the biodynamic agriculture college

A few years ago when I started getting into bees I was exposed to the world of plants. Anyone who keeps bees quickly learns what good bee food is as the season progresses. Many people think that bees will visit any flower but this is far from the truth. Just like people, bees are attracted and prefer certain foods. They, too, cannot live off just one or two things. They know what they need and what is most nutritious. As Beekeepers, we must make certain that we surround our bees with a variety of nourishment. In support of healthy bees, I started learning more plants honeybees frequent and planting them.

In the process of learning what bees like and planting for them, I starting planting for me too. My first year was a wild one! I got a little crazy with all the planting and failed at thinning as it all grew in. Going to pick a squash or cucumber was like venturing into the wild unknown. Either way, it was great to watch everything grow and even better to eat! After learning the potential of growing veggies I decided next year I would actually plan it so I could avoid the store and only eat from the garden. 2011 was the tastiest summer of my life.

The difference between fresh, local food and stuff that comes from a great distance, genetically manipulated or ripened in a warehouse is immense. Our food system is beyond backwards and won’t last. Agribusiness is such bullshit – what happened to the culture part in agriculture? Sustainable doesn’t come in a bottle, bag or laboratory; it comes from the methods and practices that got us here over the past thousands of years. I encourage you to think about where your food comes from and how it came to be. If you don’t know, you probably wouldn’t want to.

I will leave you at that story. My goal here is not to complain about today’s problems but to give you an idea of why I am studying a sustainable form of agriculture, how it sparked my interest and how I hope to change the world. I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful fall and getting your fix of squash!

Also, did you know what over half of the money you spend on our all natural lotions, lip balms and beeswax candles supports my education? :) thank you all!

20111004-054448.jpg

 

Midwest Living Feature May 9, 2011

Filed under: markets and events,team awesome,the goods — queen frederica @ 9:12 pm

It all started out last year as an email sent out to a small list of beekeepers outside the Twin Cities here in Minnesota. After a bit of information on what we do, where and Mike’s good looks, we were selected to be the faces of a spread on honey for Midwest Living magazine. It’s in the May/June 2011 issue:

We are just small-town beekeepers doing what we love. We never though in a million years that anything like this would fall in our laps. It did and it’s been fun working with them and even more exciting to see our bees, honey and gardens published in the article. [Check out those sunflowers!!]

WOWMOM

As if the honey article with the fruits of our (and the bees) labor, Midwest Living also wanted to include our honey in a Midwestern honey sampler pack for their online marketplace. For those of you interested, click Here.

I am grateful for this opportunity and exposure with Midwest Living, as it documented one hell of a first year of beekeeping. Thank you! — And I was happy with the knowledge Mike jammed into my brain all summer that produced award winning honey at the state fair.

“Go big or go home” right? And we sure aren’t going home..

 

lovely ladies February 7, 2011

Filed under: team awesome — queen frederica @ 7:26 pm

You don’t see this everyday.. or ever for that matter. Seriously, when is the last time you saw a beekeeper under the age of 50 that wasn’t a man — and 4 of them all at the same time!?

 

Alright, alright.. I kid! There are lots of female beekeepers out there but it’s a safe bet that most are old guys ( I say that with lots of love, guys).

 

Anyhow, this picture cracks me up so I thought I’d post it. I had to get some work done one day and it needed to happen fast before the rain came. Some of the other ladies at the farm volunteered and suited up. Gotta love it..

 

holiday happenings December 28, 2010

Filed under: bees,team awesome — queen frederica @ 2:19 am

In addition to raising healthy bees and suppling you with honey that will rock your wold, we donate some of our profits to some of our favorite organizations that help others do the same — how cool is that?

 

Many of you have probably heard of, or even supported, Heifer already. They are an excellent organization that helps families and villages worldwide to achieve a sustainable form of income and food sources. If you aren’t familiar with them, I suggest checking them out online to see what they do and how they do it.

 

This year Bone Lake Meadows bought colonies of bees for families in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Romania and Poland. Imagine that.. a Mackiewicz buying a Polish family bees.. By these families receiving bees, their entire community will benefit via pollination and high crop yields. Sound familiar? Take care of bees and they will take care of you! Hopefully these families with get as much joy from their bees as we get from ours.

Happy Holidays!

 

later taters December 1, 2010

Filed under: team awesome,winter stuff — queen frederica @ 2:07 am

Almost 2 weeks ago we had a bee party where I said my goodbyes for 2010 before headed to Hawaii for winter. Who needs snow when you can have warmth or fruiting trees?? Thanks for the fun, guys! This is the only picture I’ve got from the evening.. It aint no waggle dance, but it still cracks me up each time I look at this picture:

I will be blogging for fun from the Big Island while I keep bees over here until spring.

 

nothing to do with bees October 11, 2010

Filed under: team awesome — queen frederica @ 10:25 pm

but I saw this in a gas station in northern Wisconsin and really enjoyed it..

 

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 ;)