Beekeeping

Henry’s bees are finally home again after more than two months in California. (More about preparing them for almond pollination here and here.) Henry’s beekeeper/truck driver friend hauled them back north on Sunday, and Henry unloaded them in a local holding yard. Overall, they look really really good. Henry spent most of the day on Monday and Tuesday working […]

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For most of the year, Henry maintains apiaries of 20 to 30 hives in relatively remote locations in the Coast Range. He decides on ecologically appropriate numbers for each yard by assessing the nectar and pollen resources available at any given time, and he’s careful not to exceed the carrying capacity of the area, especially […]

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In late summer when many humans are beginning to reap the bounty of their gardens and to make plans for the harvest season, honeybee colonies already have their honey stores tucked away, and they’re starting to shut down in preparation for the winter. In September, workers will still have access to pollen, but the nectar […]

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You should listen to this clip from The Splendid Table in which Marina Marchese makes a case for buying honey directly from beekeepers. It’s a little highbrow and maybe not quite 100% technically accurate, but it covers pretty much everything Henry and I have been saying (and doing) for a while. This is an event […]

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The time has come, folks. Henry’s honey is finally available for purchase in stores and online. Henry’s spent time over the last couple weeks bottling up pint jars of different varietal honeys, taking great pains to preserve the full depth of flavor and health benefits by not overheating the honey. Our friend Halley Roberts designed […]

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It’s honey harvest time around these parts. In the Oregon Coast Range where Henry (doing business under the name Old Blue) has his remote apiaries, the nectar flow has pretty much dried up to a trickle even though there’s still plenty of pollen to be had. Henry is now working on preparing hives for the […]

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This spring, Henry agreed to pollinate at Radke’s Blueberries, hands down the best U-pick blueberry farm in the Corvallis area if not the entire world (read more about the place here). Blueberry growers generally contract with beekeepers to drop off two or more hives per acre during bloom time. Having honeybees on hand ensures widespread pollination […]

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As things warm up around here, Henry’s been starting to schedule 2013 honeybee extractions. (I’m using the term “honeybee extraction” in this post to mean the act of removing unwanted honeybees that are living on their own in people’s barns, garages, rotten trees, etc.) The next month  and a half or so is the best […]

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Comb

March 1, 2013 · 10 comments

Honeybee’s comb is about the coolest stuff ever. It’s beautiful, functional, symmetrical, and it smells good to boot. Comb is also a wonderfully multipurpose substance. It provides structure for a hive, the right nooks and conditions for rearing brood, and storage space for pollen and of course, honey. Bees have four pairs of glands on their […]

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Phacelia

August 8, 2012 · 2 comments

Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) is native to southwest North America. It typically grows in alluvial fans or areas prone to flash flooding. When mature seed falls from the plant onto the surface of the soil, it remains dormant until seasonal flood waters cover the seed with moist soil. Once phacelia seeds break dormancy, the plants will […]

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