February 01, 2020

My Colorado Beekeeping Calendar: A sticky post

A Phenological Calendar for Colorado Beekeepers



By undergoing VIT, I successfully reduced my sensitivity to honeybee venom to safe levels! After taking several years off, my interest in beekeeping has not waned, and I'm anxious to restock our hives. I'm just not sure how to proceed since we're still planning to move out of Colorado. Should I restock and run the hives but then give them to someone if we move? Would someone buy fully stocked hives? What about the fact that one's a Top Bar Hive and one's a Warré? Should I run just one, with plans to leave it behind and take the other with? Which one to run? Which one to take? Should I run the one I prefer or the one I won't mind leaving behind? Which one do I prefer?! The mind wobbles.

What about you? What are your plans for this season? If you're in the Denver metro, maybe my bloom calendar will help you think them through. Just keep in mind that the dates can shift a couple of weeks in either direction depending on weather conditions. For example, the excessively warm 2017/2018 winter had elm trees blooming well before Valentine's Day. The snow storm on President's Day, though, cut short its blooming period. You can click on any of the events for more details and additional reading. I hope you find it useful.

Blue = honeybee, yellow = mason bee, green = what's blooming. And don't forget, Marty Hardison's booklet, "The Appropriate Beehive" is available at right. May your hives be humming. — BB & HB

You may also be interested in The List

March 03, 2019

Happy 303 Day!


Can you believe this blog is over 10 years old? I started it to chronicle our adventure from total beginner to seasoned beekeepers. I would confess all the mistakes, illustrate what ever hurdles we encountered, and post tons of photos to make the journey easier for others just getting started with bees and top bar hives.

Becoming allergic to bee stings threw me for a loop, and some posts since that Sad Sunday are somewhat tangential, but I'm closer than ever to getting back to honey bee keeping and blogging. One day while at the allergist, waiting out the obligatory "let's see if she dies in the next 30 minutes after getting triple venom shots," I decided to polish up the blog and – ack! — discovered that significant chunks of code were no longer functional. Sooo many photos went missing. Oh, Google, why did you sunset Picasa?!

Much like a beehive, a blog is easy to set up but can grow difficult to maintain.

I never intended on becoming and blogger per se and, even though I learned html, css and even some php, I felt like I was looking at a cross-combed hive with lots of code needing to be culled and replaced. Part of me wanted to treat it like AFB* and just burn the whole thing down. But I started this blog with a swarm in 2008 and couldn't bring myself to destroy the almost 400 posts published since. But the real reason I put in the hours and repaired all the bad code is that 303beekeeper.com is the home of Marty Hardison's instructional booklet on Top Bar Beekeeping.

An invaluable resource, "The Appropriate Beehive" is free to download but donations to continue hosting it are welcomed. Click on the button below to donate $3 and offset the cost to host it here. My favorite parts of The Appropriate Beehive: An Introduction to Topbar Beekeeping are the building plans for a top bar hive and The List (aka When to Do What for One's Bees). What about you? Leave a comment. 👇

donate $3 to support 303beekeeper and Marty's booklet

*American Foul Brood is a highly infectious bee disease. Because of the persistence of the spores (which can survive up to 40 years), many state apiary inspectors require AFB diseased hives to be burned completely.