Hive Inspection Series: Where’s the Queen?

Did We Finally Find the Queen?

In our last inspection, we did find eggs, but the queen was elusive, as ever. This is our last-ditch effort to find her before combining. Watch along to see if we find her!

If you would like to see the playlist, please go here: Hive Inspection Series.

Also, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and comment! Your support lets us know what you like and what you’d like more of. You can also check out our YouTube channel here.

If you’d like to read more about our bee adventures on the blog, you can find all of that here: https://www.brambleandburdock.com/bees/


Hive Inspection Series: Eggs and No Queen?!

And the puzzle continues!

In our last inspection, we thought we saw the queen coming back from her mating flight, but relocating her was unsuccessful. Do you think we’ll find her during this inspection? Watch along while Matthew hunts for any signs that this isn’t a queenless hive inspection (here’s a hint: he does find eggs). If you would like to see the playlist, please go here: Hive Inspection Series.

Also, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and comment! Your support lets us know what you like and what you’d like more of. You can also check out our YouTube channel here.


Is Our Queen Still Missing? Hive Inspection Series

Hooray for the second video in the Hive Inspection Series!

In our last inspection, we found many queen cells. What happened to them? Do we have a queen? Watch along while Matthew hunts for any signs that this isn’t a queenless hive inspection. If you missed the first video in the series, check out first video: Hive Inspection Spring 2018

Also, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and comment! Your support lets us know what you like and what you’d like more of. You can also check out our YouTube channel here.


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Hive Inspection Series Has Begun!

The beekeeping season is in full swing, and we are starting off our YouTube channel with a series following one of the hives through the beekeeping season. We will be following Matthew through the inspection and management of what was one of our stronger hives going into last winter. But is it still strong? Follow along to find out!


Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

We love it when the apple blossoms are in full swing. We only wish you could smell their beautiful fragrance as well!

Winter held on as long as it could, but once spring was here, it came all at once! We now have apples blossoming, dandelions blooming, strawberries flowering, linden (basswood) trees are bloom, lilacs are making the air fragrant, black and honey locust trees are flowering, and early phlox has begun. We are in full swing, and the bees are enjoying it.

So far we’ve had a large influx of pollinators and their corresponding predators. We’ll see if we can get a picture of the bird that has been stalking the hives soon.

Strawberry Flowers

The bees are loving this, but we are going to have to watch them carefully as their populations are going to explode, as well as their honey production.

Our first video in a series following one of our hives will be posted to YouTube soon. We will be sure to update you when it goes up!

Enjoy spring…summer is on its way!

How a Garden Can Change Your Ecosystem…And How it Changed Ours

How a Garden Can Change Your Ecosystem…And How it Changed Ours

Flowers

When we first moved to our home in Cooperstown, NY, the ecosystem around our home was sparse. Most of the farms in our area produce corn and soybeans, and maybe some hay depending on the year. None of them are very close to us, except maybe the corn. The birds of prey seemed huge, but there was little else to be seen. Except for maybe a deer here and there. We moved in to our home in June, so gardening that year was just not going to happen.

My husband wanted to start one the following year, which surprised me because he had always grown up in cities and towns and his mom’s garden wasn’t something he really participated in. I, however, had grown up gardening. My mother always had a garden, and we always worked right along side her. I was not a fan. And at first, I was not on board with starting one for our little family.

Year 1 – 2011

At the time I was working full-time, had just had a baby in the last year or so, and just didn’t see why. I didn’t think I had the energy or the time. Regardless, my husband, Matthew, really wanted to start a small one, so I was 

supportive. But, to be honest, that first year was awful. Not long before we had moved in gravel must have been dumped in the very spot we had chosen to garden, because under just a quarter-inch of dirt was almost solid gravel. It took us months to just cut the “sod” to even be able to start a small garden. Never the less, my husband persisted in wanting a garden. I wish I could say I was more supportive, but I complained way more than I would like to admit. We did manage to grow a couple of things that year, but the ecosystem didn’t seem to change at all that first year.

Year 2 – 2012

Nevertheless, the next year we got a little smarter. We decided trying to dig in that gravel was just not going to work, and went the way of raised beds. So. Much. Easier. We ordered the wood from our local hardware store and built them relatively quickly. We then purchased a truck load of compost from a local farmer and we started our meager garden. The first year we saw a few song birds and some more bugs, but the change was not yet very clear. The second year wasn’t that different.

The second year we added some garden beds (more than we could handle really). We were both gaining some enthusiasm for putting this little seed in the ground and, with a little work, reaping a harvest that we had grown ourselves. We couldn’t believe how much better the food from our garden tasted than the stuff from the store! The difference was unbelievable. Knowing that we could grow at least some things ourselves, and that they tasted so much better, we persisted. We also started learning more about where our food comes from in the stores, how old it really is, and what chemicals are used on those fruits and veggies. That was very motivating.

That year we saw some more birds, deer, turkeys, rabbits, and a groundhog. Oh the groundhog. And the rabbits. Those are two parts of the ecosystem I could have done without. We did not have a fence around the garden, as we could not really figure out how to afford it. If we had been able to fence it in those early years, I imagine we would have had a far more substantial harvest.

Year 3 (2013) – Year 7 (2017)

As the years have gone on, we have seen many song birds return year round, there are more rabbits, more pollinating insects (and pests. More on that later), more geese, ducks, turkeys, deer, ladybugs, (and now that we have bees) more wasps. Not as much a fan of that last one.

In short, our land now supports a menagerie of wildlife, where at one time we only saw an occasional hawk fly overhead. We have added bees and chickens to our little homestead, which also helps with the balance of our ecosystem. And maybe someday we will add other wildlife and insects (heard of mason bees?). But right now, we are focusing on the garden and bees. My husband was right…gardening is totally worth it! It helps our ecosystem, it provides us with sunshine, exercise, and delicious, healthy food. And it gives us a real reward that we can hold in our hands. It provides us with the ability to see the fruits of our labor.