About

I have kept honey bees on the island of Newfoundland in and around the town of St. John’s since 2010. I use this mighty blog in a straightforward and practical manner to record all of my beekeeping successes and failures. By being honest about my mistakes while documenting what actually seems to work, it’s my hope that others might learn as well from me as they would from more experienced beekeepers without being told what to do. If I do anything on this blog other than listen to myself talk, I’d like to create a space that allows new beekeepers to discover their own intuitive intelligence for beekeeping like I have.

Mud Songs is written and illustrated with photos and videos intended for hobbyist or easy going backyard beekeepers like myself, not commercial beekeepers who often require a more systematic approach to beekeeping. Not to say that I don’t take beekeeping seriously. I just don’t want to take myself so seriously that I start lecturing at people. I’m not a certified master beekeeper yet, but I do my homework, enough to satisfy my unambitious approach to beekeeping and to keep myself in honey all year round.

I got interested in honey bees after reading about people keeping bees on their roofs in Chicago. Then I began to follow some beekeepers out of California whose methods were perhaps a bit too natural and ill-advised for my cold climate. That 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. I harvested my first batch of honey in September 2011, and it was delicious.

As of October 2018, I have seven Langstroth honey bee hives next to my house in a rural-like location outside St. John’s (though I’ve had as many as ten). 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 unpleasant neighbours. I made my fair share of mistakes in the beginning, and as a basically mentorless beekeeper I continue to make some doozies, but I feel pretty good about where I am now.

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 just the way I like it.

I am not a member nor a spokesperson for the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association.

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