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Sharon Kitchens

Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com. When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse. In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more. Sharon can be contacted at kitchens.sharon@gmail.com or on Twitter @deliciousmusing.

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Things to do This week





Posted: July 10, 2014

The Birds and the Bees

Written by: Sharon Kitchens - contributor - kitchens.sharon@gmail.com

A few photos to show you what the birds and bees around my house have been up to…

swarm

Swarm of honey bees

A few weeks ago one of my hives swarmed. I went out in the morning to do chores and all was fine, a couple hours later I found the swarm you see in the above photo. Swarms are a natural part of honey bee reproduction and a miraculous thing to witness. Shortly after taking the picture the colony relocated up into a tree in the woods along my property. The scout bees must have found some nice real estate for the colony.

Frame from hive

Frame from hive

As a result of the swarm my bee mentor J and I went into all the hives and did quick inspections. Oops, turns out I’d not changed out a medium frame for a deep one and the bees decided to have their way with it. J suggested removing the comb, but I think it’s so beautiful and natural and they worked so hard for it – so we left it. The next inspection of that hive may be a bit more difficult because of it (frames stuck together), but J is a pro and we’ll manage.

Feeding one hive

Feeding one hive

As a result of the inspection of one hive I made a split and until today, when I found the foundation in this box pretty well drawn out,  have had to feed the hive. The mason jar feeder is homemade (using a hammer and tiny nails create holes in the top, fill with 50/50 sugar water (let sit overnight or for  a few hours) and voila. The other container I purchased at The Honey Exchange in Portland and filled with the 50/50 solution.

 

Chickens on the porch

Chickens on the porch

Meanwhile, the feathered gals of Great Cluck Egg Farm have been laying eggs, clucking (!), running around eating worms… and some have taken to hanging out on the porch with me. One tried to jump in my lap!

Hope you are enjoying the summer!

 

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