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, the cultural hub of the western world, since 2010. Mud Songs is written and illustrated with photos and videos intended for hobbyist beekeepers, 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. Update: I post only to my Twitter feed these days, but hopefully that’s just temporary.
Contact me through @mudsongs.org. Just add the name Phillip to the front of the address (and that’s Phillip with 2 Ls).
I got interested in honey bees after reading about people keeping bees on their roofs in Chicago. Then I discovered the Backwards Beekeepers and got hooked, which led to online lessons from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, which led to several more months of online research, and finally on July 18th, 2010, the bees arrived. As of April 2015, I have four Langstroth honey bee hives (down from eight) in a rural location just outside St. John’s. 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 certain 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. Although I enjoy the solitude of beekeeping, I often do my beekeeping with my wife-like person, Jenny, illustrated with me below.
Mud Songs used to be a gardening blog, but it’s strictly a beekeeping blog now. (Most 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. But changing the name is too much of a hassle, so that’s it.
All text, images, videos and other original content © by Mud Songs Ltd., unless otherwise noted.
Artist’s rendition of Phillip & Jenny © 2007 by Jonathan Adams (used with kind permission).