July 25th, 2012

For anyone who didn’t get the memo, I’m on vacation from the intertubes until sometime in the fall. I’m thinking about turning Mud Songs into an off-season website, anyway, something I poke around with during the winter when I have more time on my hands. About 95% of the daily visitors to Mud Songs read items I published more than six months ago. That means most of the useful content is not time-sensitive. So it can wait. I’ll swing by again sometime in September, October, maybe November, to report on my summer of beekeeping. I’ll still be around to read and respond to comments. I just won’t be posting anything new for a while. Have a good summer.

July 10th, 2012

Uuuuuuuuh. I have a serious case of beekeeping burnout. One of our hives swarmed about seven weeks ago; one of our neighbours had a bad experience with our bees; we subsequently trucked our hives out to a farm thirty minutes outside the city; we’ve had to borrow a vehicle once a week to attend to the bees for the past four weekends; we caught a swarm out on the farm (okay, that wasn’t too bad); we’ve had to take swarm prevention measures with monster hives growing out of control every weekend for the past month (okay, that was pretty bad); and yesterday we had to requeen a hive and tear down some monster hives to make splits. Uuuuuuuh. This is my favourite photo from yesterday because it accurately captures my state of mind:

Yesterday wasn’t horrible, but it was a long, long day. I am so tired.

We have to check out the bees next weekend and they better damn well be great. We plan to load them up with more honey supers and leave them alone for two weeks after that while the honey flows are shifting into high gear, and then we’ll come back from our vacation from the bees and steal their honey. And don’t anyone try to tell me, “You shouldn’t leave the hives alone during a honey flow because the queens could get honeybound…” — blah, blah blah. I don’t want to hear it.

May 8th, 2012

One of the few photos of me (with a bee on my hand).

April 19th, 2012

I set up our camera close a hive entrance a couple days ago with the intention of playing back the video and counting how many bees entered and exited the hive in 60 seconds. Futility is the word for that. But here’s some of the footage I used, some of it in slow-motion and cropped in close (so it’s not the highest resolution). It’s just a video test, only for purists.

I’m trying to find a file type that doesn’t produce the ghostly after-image of the bees flying. It may look kind of cool, but it looks better in the original HD without the after-image. If anyone has any tips on how to encode a video file for upload so it doesn’t do that, I’m listening. Thanks.

February 6th, 2012

Here are four and a half minutes of photos from our first 567 days of beekeeping. It’s not a “best of” collection, but it’s the best I could put together in 20 minutes (there are more photos of bees than beekeeping per se). It should look half-decent played back in full screen at the highest resolution. Recommended only for purists. There’s no music, but I originally had some Geoffrey Oryema on the soundtrack and it was good. You’ve probably never heard of Geoffrey Oryema, but he tends to make quiet night music with lots of echo. Or maybe Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass is more your thing. Whatever floats your boat.


2011 wasn’t a good year for beekeepers on the east coast of Newfoundland. We had a late wet spring, a short cold summer, and we (i.e., the royal we, as in I’m talking about yours truly) made plenty of mistakes along the way. But we managed to harvest about 20kg of honey from our two established hives and it was all worth it.

Here are some photos from 2011 (about 100 photos, approximately 5 minutes):
Read on . . . »

September 16th, 2011

I know some new beekeepers in eastern Newfoundland who read Mud Songs from time to time. If you’re reading this around 1pm on Friday, now would be a good time to weigh down your hives if you haven’t done so already.

According to the CBC, Hurricane Maria should smack into us right about now with winds around 120km/h (75mph), plus a whole lotta rain. My hives are well protected from the wind and have weathered through worse storms than this. But if your hives are out in the open, you might want to take some precautions.

August 28th, 2011

So I says to Mabel, I says…

August 22nd, 2011

Romaine lettuce, anyone?

I’m not sure why it is, but one or two bees are always drinking water droplets off our lettuce.

August 11th, 2011

The original content of the post has been moved to the How-To page.

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