Mead Day, Hive Beards, and Beekeeping News

Mead Day

Yesterday was International Mead Day. I’ve never actually made mead myself but I expect to do so this time next year because I’ll have my very own honey crop to use.

Hive beardThis spring I constructed a hive, bought a “nuc” and set it up in the back yard of my friend Jay who lives up the street and has been keeping bees for about ten years. Since May, when they became an established colony, they’ve produced plenty of honey but I’ve read and heard that its good to let them keep it all the first year and not harvest any until the second year of production. So my plan is that I’ll be harvesting honey next summer. I’ll probably get many gallons worth. There is only so much toast with honey a man can eat so the logical thing to do is turn it into something I can drink. And of course give it away to famiy and friends.

The picture to the left is of the hive doing what’s called “bearding,” which means clustering outside the hive in an effort to escape the midsummer heat. I freaked out when I saw it and thought something was drastically wrong until Jay explained that it is perfectly normal – a bee colony’s version of air conditioning.

Luckily there is also a really excellent and active beekeepers association here in Montgomery County, MD. Here’s their latest Honey Pot.

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8 Responses to Mead Day, Hive Beards, and Beekeeping News

  1. Hazel says:

    Drink beer, save the world and protect the bees, gotta love this blog!
    I’ll be back.
    Hazel.

  2. Keith says:

    I have to ask, why is the hive pink?

  3. beeractivist says:

    Hi Hazel – thanks for stopping by, come on over any time.

    Keith – the paint was free!

  4. Liz says:

    Here’s an interesting article – backyard beehives are thriving, in contrast to the colony collapse disorder in agribusiness bees.
    http://www.alternet.org/environment/59426/

  5. beeractivist says:

    Liz – Great article. Thanks for sharing it. I’ll post about it tonight.

  6. Layedbacklen says:

    I took one small super off in October left the two deeps for the bees. They had plenty of honey along with a great brood pattern,my first year so far so good. Great site
    I recommend all bee keepers read A Spring Without Bees by Michael Schacker.

  7. Brian says:

    Any updates on your honey production? and drink?

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