Sunday, July 29, 2012

beekeeping 101 recap!

Meg Paska knows bees. Listening to her talk about about the ins and outs of beekeeping is like listening to Julia Child talk about braised lamb shank. She is someone who talks with enthusiasm, and it is infectious as all get out. Yesterday she gave a crash course in beekeeping here at the farm and folks from all over the northeast came to hear her spread the gospel of the hive. I mostly sat back and listened (when I wasn't running around doing chores or checking on the dogs) and took in the questions and anecdotes like adding ingredients to the stew pot. Her tales of urban and rural beekeepers were hilarious and educational (i.e some urban beekeepers paint their rooftop hives to look like brick chimneys so no nosy neighbors are any the wiser!) She was amazing, and so where the attendees. All of them excited and new to the world of bees, and you can bet some of them are breaking out in hives next spring...

Here she is talking with us in a general Q&A moment. You might need to turn up your audio, but you can hear some basic rapid-fire question and answers and see some of us sittin' lazy in the side yard. You can't see Gibson because right before I took this video he sprinted through the group of people to check on the rabbit hutch situation. Part of his regular rounds. No one even blinked when he thundered through, but a few laughed. I love that crazy pup.

She went into my hive and I have to admit, I was a little embarrassed at the state of it. I am a hands-off beekeeper who only checks in a few times a year and the last time was over a month ago. My hive had a build up of burr comb, and an unnecessary queen excluder which caused a big problem. apparently the original queen skipped down or died and the bottom of the hive had some queen cells of newly born queens but no new brood. Only a few laying workers existed in the hive and they aren't getting the job done. So what I need is a few frames from a healthy hive with young bees, some brood, and a new queen. I don't know if I can pull it off but I will email and drop off notes in some mailboxes. If I can save the hive, I will.

I only know this because of Meg, who looks at frames the way I look at paragraphs. She can read a hive like a page in the book. She knew within minutes the whole story of my hive, where it was going and how it could be helped. If you want to learn more about Meg, her workshops and her life, check out her site

And now for a whole day of Soap and candles!


Blogger Razzberry Corner said...

I wish we had someone like her here in my area! She sounds like a very smart beekeeper!

July 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

I'm so sad that I'm/she's so far away! It would be wonderful to have a resource like this workshop. I should talk to our county office and see if they'll host one. Always enjoy your posts, Jenna!

July 29, 2012 at 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Twas a great workshop! We learned so much & met a lovely bunch of people, including yourself & Meg. I am very glad the weather held out for Meg's demonstration & allowed us to continue our discussion on your lawn. (I hope it ended up clearing up for your soap workshop, the next morning.) If we find ourselves on a little homestead of our own by the new year, I am sure bees will be there in the Spring. Thank you for hosting the workshop & for allowing us into your home.


PS Best chicken tenders ever...

July 31, 2012 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And good luck with your hive! I am looking forward to seeing/hearing how it comes along. -Brandi

July 31, 2012 at 7:23 AM  

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