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Posted on Jan 12th, 2013

For the second half of December I was on vacation out of state for the holidays.  A couple of days in I received a call from the community garden owner where Leaf Litter, Cheese Palace and Boat Murdered are all housed.  She had returned from her own vacation and found the hives with their tie down straps removed and their outer covers off.  Sometime between when I fed the bees fondant and when she found the hives someone decided to disrupt the bees.... more

Posted on Dec 8th, 2012

The weather in Philadelphia was very warm for December and several days nearly broke record highs.  I had some concerns for the food stores for some of the hives and decided to take advantage of the weather to provide the bees with a little winter food.  For those, like myself, that fee sugar, there are typically three ways you do it.  In the spring, you provide a 1:1 sugar to water mix to the bees when starting out new packages or if you are trying to stimulate them for making wax and brood rearing.  This ratio of food simulates the nectar bees bring in during the spring flow and helps... more

Posted on Nov 10th, 2012

Sandy has come and gone, and some parts of the east coast will be picking up the pieces for quite a while to come.  Philadelphia was lucky enough not to be hit too badly.  It was certainly an experience to sit in your apartment while the eye of the hurricane passed over head.  I had strapped my 4 hives down to their cinder block hive stands and could only hope it was enough for them during the storm.  When I was able to get out to check I was pleased to find that all four of the hives were just fine.  I soon learned, however, that this was not true of all area hives.

The worst I... more

Posted on Oct 27th, 2012

 

The frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy, is fast approaching which means it is time for me to get out and help the hives get through the storm ok.  The geckos and I should be just fine indoors, but the bees get to stay right where they are.  I headed out this morning to strap them all down to their cinder block hive stands to help them prevail against the winds.  They could still be potentially blown over, of course, but it is much less likely now and even if they are blown over the hives should stay together instead of each box toppling as it may.  I am sure the bees would not be happy... more

Posted on Oct 20th, 2012

A few weeks ago I did a final, small, fall harvest of honey concluding the honey season for the year.  I also just received a batch of labels designed by my sister Helen for the honey jars and other hive products I will be making as we go into the winter months.  Below is a picture of the honey for the year.  The left two lighter bottles are from the spring harvest.  The middle, slightly darker spring bottle came fromt he Rhinelanders hive and has a different flavor from the other spring honey.  The dark honey on the right is fall honey from all 4 hives.  I hope you get to try some!

... more
Posted on Oct 20th, 2012

Anyone who reads posts on reptile forums quickly notices a pattern of new keepers wanting to put multiple animals into a single enclosure.  Often they want to mix species, which is almost allways a bad idea for all but those with lots of experience and very large enclosures, but keeping multiples of the same species together is something that many people also wish to do either out of space concerns, aesthetics or breeding purposes.  With many species, as long as you pay attention to the sex of the animals your are mixing, have enough hiding spots and an appropriately sized enclosure you... more

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