About • Contact

I use Mud Songs to document all of my successes and failures in beekeeping. I have kept honey bees in and around St. John’s, Newfoundland, since 2010. Mud Songs is written and illustrated with photos and videos intended for hobbyist beekeepers like myself, not commercial beekeepers or business entrepreneurs. I try to keep everything simple and practical. I’m not a certified master beekeeper yet but I’ve done my homework, enough to satisfy my gentle approach to beekeeping and keep myself in honey all year round. I hope that by being honest about my mistakes while documenting what actually seems to work, others might learn as well from me as they would from more experienced beekeepers.

I got interested in honey bees after reading about people keeping bees on their roofs in Chicago. Then I began to follow some so-called natural beekeepers from California, which led to more realistic and practical online lessons from David Burns, which led to several more months of online research, and finally on July 18th, 2010, the bees arrived. As of November 2015, I have five Langstroth honey bee hives in a rural-like location outside St. John’s (though I’ve had as many as eight hives). I kept bees in the city in my small backyard for a couple years, but decided to move them to the country to keep the peace with some unenlightened neighbours. I experimented with foundationless beekeeping in the beginning, which turned out to be perhaps not such a great move, but I’m learning as I stumble along, getting it wrong before I get it right, embracing my mistakes and moving on. I harvested my first batch of honey in September 2011, and it was delicious.

Mud Songs used to be a gardening blog, but it’s strictly a beekeeping blog now. (All of the old gardening posts are gone.) The name “Mud Songs” didn’t make a whole lot of sense even as a gardening blog and makes even less sense now as a beekeeping blog. That’s fine with me.

I can be contacted through @mudsongs.org. Just add the name Phillip to the front of the address (and that’s Phillip with 2 Ls).

All text, images, videos and other original content © by Phillip Cairns (me), unless otherwise noted.

Postscript: I’m making certain modifications to Mud Songs, slowly, gradually. First, I’m replacing all the photos that were originally posted through Picasa and Flickr because I’ve seen several of those photos used by Google and Yahoo (who own those services) to promote junk that I would not endorse. Secondly, I’m editing many of the early posts where I was cocky enough to give advice like I knew what I was talking about, advice not based on experience. That was just stupid. I’m slowly fixing those posts too.