Keepin’ Bees in the summer of ‘20

Some things don’t change, even in pandemics. Like the way beekeeping makes me smile. 

beekeeping in masks for covid 19 times
beekeeping summer 2020
beekeeping 2.0
happy bees
dads top bar hive
queen cells

Queen cells!

boxing up bees

Boxing up a frame with the queen cells to send to Carol Anne’s hive.

box of bees

Packed and ready to go to a new home!


A box of bees with their new Keeper.

A hive check in May 2020 revealed some queen cells on 2 of my frames. Carol Anne’s bees recently swarmed, so we packed up one of the frames to send to her house to live in her Langstroth hive. Hopefully they can create a healthy new hive! 

{Spring is Coming: Bee Install Day}

March 2017, we install my Dad’s first bee colony into his new Top Bar hive.

Note that the queen-box strap had become detached during transport, resulting in the need to scoop the queen-box out of the package by hand.

“Hear the voices, they are humming, change is coming to all… Spring is coming home.” – The Gospel Whiskey Runners

Blessings on your beekeeping, may the rewards be sweet.

(a hive inspection)

Glad to have Scott along for my latest hive inspection!

The ladies calm quickly with a little puff of cedar chip smoke from the smoker.


The bees appeared happy and busy, and the Queen continues to lay healthy brood.

After such a dry summer, there isn’t quite enough reserve for a honey harvest yet. A simple & poetic reminder: sweet things come to those who wait.  

{junior beekeeper}

My brave buddy G-man recently helped me out with a beehive inspection – his very first experience beekeeping!

He wasn’t worried one bit, and could already distinguish between the bees “happy buzzing” as opposed to the way an angry wasp sounds. Look how close he is to the bees!

I’m a big fan of teaching kids to appreciate honey bees and love getting to provide an opportunity for them to experience wonder & fascination at this amazing and beautiful species.  There’s an innate sense of accomplishment and pride that develops in the child from knowing they can approach and handle bees, something they’ve seen grown adults run away from.

Many adults have strongly embedded fears of bees, often because they associate them with more aggressive insects and have only the vaguest notion that wasps are a different species entirely. Kids are totally capable of making the distinction between a docile honeybee worker busy gathering nectar, a harmless bumble bee browsing for pollen, and a buzzing angry yellow jacket that wants you out of its territory. Instilling this knowledge at an early age goes a long way towards reversing the social fears that surround buzzing insects.

I’m super proud of my cousin for his interest and willingness to learn. I’m glad to know he is already an advocate & ambassador for the exciting world of beekeeping!

{bee checkin}

Friday was an excellent day for a hive inspection. My sister accompanied/assisted and my bro Josh helped us carry our supplies out to the hive.

I love this photo! It makes me think of Back to The Future, when Marty dresses like a space alien to scare his dad into asking out his mom. “I am Darth Vader, an extra-terrestrial from the planet Vulcan.”


We saw happy honey bees and uncappped honey.

We spied new brood (bottom right). We even saw the queen!

Happy Monday, friends! May your week be sweet.

{Bee Update}

5 days after installing our bees, I set out to do a hive inspection to see how the girls were settling in.

My mom came along to meet the hive, and here she is holding a frame of bees for the first time even though it made her a bit nervous. She is brave!

The ladies didn’t mind me messing with their house. They mostly ignored me entirely and just kept humming to each other happily – chatting about bee things.

This frame is their biggest project so far. Can you see the comb that they are building on the wax base? They also seem to have made themselves a tiny door. Such smartypants!

Happy weekend, brave ones! Will you be busy building anything this week?

{Bee-Day: New Hive Install}


We’ve been working intermittently on setting up our new Langstroth beehive for the past two months.


On the first weekend of April, we picked up 10,000 new Italian friends (plus their queen) and introduced them to their new home.


The bees arrive in a 3lb “package” that includes a queen bee who is kept safe in a small box located inside the package.




Italian honey bees are known for their light blonde coloration and their docility. Our honey bees lived up to this reputation, and did not attempt to sting either of us even once during the install.


This little lady happily licked some sugar syrup off my glove for a full 5 minutes.


We’re excited to be beekeepers!


Happy Sunday, friends! What’s something you dream of doing?

{Bee Boxin}

We recently started getting ready for our first bees to arrive in April.

We have 3lbs of workers + an Italian Queen on the way & had to assemble and prepare their Langstroth hive.

Primed “super”; a section of the honeycomb

“The future of beekeeping is not in one beekeeper with 60,000 hives, rather it is 60,000 people with one hive. All of them aproaching the art and craft of being a keeper of bees as a holistic practice.”

Simon Buxton (2004), The Shamanic Way of the Bee

Thankful for so much help from family, and so excited for our bees to arrive in April! 🐝