I’ve decided to pull the plug on the gardening portion of this website. Mud Songs used to be a simple gardening blog — until I got into beekeeping. I don’t have any interest in documenting our gardening adventures anymore. We dig up the soil, sprinkle in some lime and fertilizer, put seeds and seedlings in the ground, water them all summer long, and then we eat it all up. And it’s usually delicious. We still enjoy growing veggies and things in our tiny backyard, and may still post a photo or two of all the green things and flowers blooming everywhere. I’m thankful for it, especially since it led me to discover beekeeping. But it’s just not on my mind anymore.


Can you see the beehives in the back there? We don’t have much room for expansion. There’s a lilac tree up against the shed that may disappear to make room for additional hives, and there’s a plot of potatoes blocking the view of the hive on the left. That spot will be cleared to make room for another hive. In total, we might be able to manage five hives. After that, we’ll have to find more room. We own a nice big field (photo) behind our shed, but the neighbourhood kids burn it down (photo) two or three times a year, and if they ever saw beehives in the field, I’m pretty sure they’d have the hives destroyed by the first weekend. They’re just a great and wonderful bunch of kids and I love ‘em to death, those little rascals (photo).

At any rate, gardening is fun but beekeeping is more fun, and everything I post for now on will fall under the category of beekeeping. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with all the old gardening posts. Don’t be surprised if they simply disappear. I should also change the name of the blog to something other than Mud Songs, which 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 it is too much of a hassle and I kind of enjoy the puerile sound of Mud Songs. Puerile works for me. And it’s not like Mud Songs is a scientific journal. I’m just a guy from Nova Scotia living in Newfoundland with a handful of beehives in my backyard, stumbling along, pretty much on my own most of the time, getting it wrong before I get it right, but slowly learning enough so that maybe someday I can actually think of myself as a beekeeper. That’d be cool.

9 Responses to “Mud Songs: A Beekeeping Blog”

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  1. Rusty says:

    For heaven’s sake, don’t change the name of your blog!!! That’s what attracted me to it in the first place, that’s what made me click on it, that’s what made me want to list in in my links! It’s a valuable asset. Are you listening??? People will always wonder about the connection, but let them wonder. It’s intriguing, beguiling, enchanting . . . in fact, it’s perfect.

  2. Phillip says:

    Umm…

    Nope. I can’t argue with that, Rusty. Thanks.

    If I ever start selling honey at my local farmer’s market though, I’ll have to come up with something other than Mud Honey. I’m not sure how well that would that would go over.

    • Tonia Moxley says:

      I love the name Mud Honey. Here in southwest Virginia (an hour from West Virginia), we have a popular regional coffee roaster called Maddie’s Mud.

      Phillip and Jenny, I just found your site via the Gardenfork.tv site, and through your site found Backwards Beekeeping. So much wonderful stuff for a slow day at work.

      I’m a beginning beekeeper, and think you guys are right on. Also love that you live in Newfoundland. I’ve always wanted to see the place.

      Best of luck overwintering, and here’s wishing you lots of buzzing come spring.

  3. jeff says:

    Funny Phil,

    My brother is a cabinet maker and the name of his business is Sunset Wood products. So I was thinking about using Sunset farms or Sunset honey. Not certain yet though.

    • Phillip says:

      I’ve got a name picked out already, but it’s such a good name (and a clever marketing idea), I’m going to keep it under my hat until I have no other choice but to sell my honey.

  4. jeff says:

    Ever think about getting a few hens. You have a perfect back yard for it. Not to mention you have a shed there where you could put in a couple laying boxes. Hens and bees get along well.

    The hens are working out well for me.

    • Phillip says:

      Ever think about getting a few hens.

      I would love to have hens. I have an unused storage room in the back of my shed with shelves that would work perfectly laying chickens. But again, unless I could secure the area behind my shed (which I can’t), then neighbourhood kids would eventually beat up any structure I built back there.

      And having hens in my tiny back yard wouldn’t work. I pretty considered downtown by the city. I don’t think chickens are allowed this close to downtown. And there just isn’t enough room for them in what’s left of my backyard, which is filling up quickly.

      If we didn’t have to worry about the delinquent neighbourhood kids smoking dope and getting drunk every other weekend in a yard two doors down from us, we would stay here for a long time and make the most of our field. But it’s not possible without great expense. We hope to get out of the city as soon as we can afford it.

  5. Mark C. says:

    on your foundationless frames, am I correct in assuming you didn’t use wire through them? I am wanting to try this, and couldn’t tell if it had wire that you removed before harvesting the comb honey or not. Thanks

  6. Phillip says:

    I used foundationless frames in the medium honey supers and didn’t wire them.

    I wired the deep foundationless frames in the brood boxes with thick fishing line. I never harvested honey from the deeps.

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