17 responses

  1. Emily Heath
    October 2, 2011

    Gorgeous seeing it oozing down the funnels like that.

  2. Sam
    October 2, 2011

    Looks absolutely wonderful! I’t so nice to see something like this so close to home (I am from Gander). I have been reading your blog for the last four hours, I find it so interesting and I hope you keep it up! You have inspirired me to try bee keeping someday myself!

  3. Jeff
    October 3, 2011

    Sam,

    Drop out to Clarenville sometime if you want to see bees before commiting. I have 7 colonies.

  4. Phillip
    October 3, 2011

    I’d take Jeff up on his offer too. I think it’s easy to idealize beekeeping. It’s not all harmony and bliss and communing with nature. Seeing what it’s like up close and personal brings it down to earth.

    Jeff and I were lucky enough and knowledgeable enough to get through this summer relatively unscathed. But for some of the things we had to deal with — especially some of the crazy things that happened with Jeff’s colonies — if we hadn’t done our homework and hadn’t been properly prepared, man, it could have been disastrous.

    Just about every move we make with the bees can have profound consequences. That’s something I became acutely aware of almost immediately. I also realized that to properly take care of the bees, you to do your homework and constantly keep learning. At least during these early years, it’s one thing after another, learning what not to do, learning how to improve on certain things, etc. It’s a bit of a slog, but it’s a rewarding slog.

    • Sam
      October 3, 2011

      I know everything isn’t always what it looks like and I do think I would like to try SOMEDAY but when I don’t know. I plan on doing a lot more research and perhaps try it when I own my OWN house and are not renting.

      Jeff I would also like to see your hives perhaps sometime. I don’t know when but I would like it for the learning experience either way!

      • Phillip
        October 3, 2011

        Sam, I didn’t mean to suggest you were idealizing beekeeping. I was more or less speaking in general terms. I’ve recently had a few people talk to me about starting up a hive or two who seemed to think they could put the bees in a box and forget about them by “letting the bees be bees.” I was just throwing out a slight word of caution to generally discourage that kind of thinking, because letting the bees be bees in Newfoundland would most likely lead to a bunch of dead bees. I wasn’t necessarily aiming it at you.

      • Sam
        October 3, 2011

        Oh no that’s totally understandable. I wasn’t offended in any way I really just thought it was a note of warning suggesting exactly what you had just said. Most thinks are like that here because of our awfully unpredictable weather patterns and our cold snowy winters.

        I also find it rather shocking that people actually think you can just “bees in a box and forget about them by “letting the bees be bees.”” as you said. That’s like farming cows and throwing them all out on a random field and just let “cows be cows”. It’s kind of a silly notion.

  5. Phillip
    October 4, 2011

    I just updated this post with photos.

  6. Marc
    October 8, 2011

    Hello newbee (pun intended ;-)

    In your video, I hear you say that in order to prevent the honey from cristalizing, you can heat is up. But you won’t do it because of the loss of enzymes and other good stuff.

    Well… when I heard you say that first sentence, I freaked. Heating honey up to preserve it?!?!?!??? Factory sugar added fake honey: yes, but not never ever the real stuff like you have there!

    In order to NOT have it cristalize, you keep it in your bucket for about five days and stir it (firmly)about three times a day.
    Depending on the amount of sugar in it (depending on the ‘source’ the bees used), it will take a day extra or less. The only way to find out is by experience.

    It you do it this way, you’ll keep the clarity of your honey AND it will be “smearable” on your sandwich. Not the cristalized bugger that you need a cleaver with to cut pieces from.

    I hope this helps…
    Keep up the bees! You’re doing a great job!

    Greetings from a fellow ‘imker’ in Belgium.

    Marc

    • Phillip
      October 9, 2011

      Thanks Marc. I have no intention of ever heating our honey, but I know it’s a common practice to heat honey before bottling so it will stay in a liquid state for a longer period of time.

      I didn’t know that stirring the honey as you described has the same effect. Are you sure? I have my doubts.

  7. Marc
    October 12, 2011

    Hey Philip,

    Actually, honey will start its crystallization process as soon as it comes in touch with air and it takes 6 weeks to 4 days to become “hard”. This time ratio depends on the percentages of glucose and fructose. The more glucose, the faster the crystallization.
    Stirring the honey, will prevend that crystal-cores (I don’t know how else to call them) can “seed”. For some people, crystallization is required and they start up a ‘guided’ process.
    You can read more about that here: http://www.konvib.eu/artikels/producten/honing/1573-geleide-kristallisatie.html
    (You can translate through Google: http://translate.google.be/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.konvib.eu%2Fartikels%2Fproducten%2Fhoning%2F1573-geleide-kristallisatie.html)

    Back to prevention. Even big brands say there’s nothing wrong with crystallization, but they do recommend stirring for a few days: http://www.langnese.be/benl/kennis/winning/kristallisatie/index.php (translation: http://translate.google.be/translate?hl=nl&sl=nl&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.langnese.be%2Fbenl%2Fkennis%2Fwinning%2Fkristallisatie%2Findex.php)

    Believe me, stirring is as old as the profession itself ;-)
    It works.

    Grtz,

    Marc

  8. Robert M.
    May 16, 2012

    I just wanted to say that I loved your video (I found on YT). I thought it was a very sensible and simple description of your honey bottling process. It made me want to get a bee hive (I won’t, though). Thank you for sharing.

  9. Brenda Martin
    August 26, 2012

    I just found a ball of bees in the yard and I actually mowed over them not knowing they were there…they stayed in the grass for about 4 days and I got worried about them and called a friend that knew a bee man..he told me what to do and now I have them in a house with a steady supply of sugar water..they built a cone in the box in three days…we were surprised they stayed and made it…I will be feeding them through the winter but hopefully next spring they won’t need so much help…if all goes well I hope to have some honey in the future too and I love your idea of how to get it from hive to jar…thank you…I am located in Tennessee and we have lots of blooming trees and natural fresh water

  10. sean
    January 2, 2013

    i am becoming interested in bee keeping… I like your set up more than the commercialized methods… I have simple questions like how many bees does it take to make your 14 pound collection, do you make a sugar mixture for them to feed on, or is that completely natural, where do you get bees, how long does it take for them to make that much honey, and what happens during the winter?

    • Phillip
      January 2, 2013

      Hi Sean,

      It seems like you might need to read more to gain some general knowledge about bees and beekeeping. Answers for most of your questions can be found on the How-To page:

      http://mudsongs.org/how-to/

  11. kevin oliver
    May 10, 2013

    what do you do with the little bricks of comb & honey in the little plastic containers ?

    • Phillip
      May 11, 2013

      That’s comb honey and I eat it like this or like this.

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