Milkweed: It’s Not Just for Monarchs

Many beekeepers are fond of watching the miracles of monarch development unfold alongside our honey bee colonies. Often recognized as a field weed of sorts, milkweed is a valuable food source to many pollinators. It is slow to emerge in spring, but once established, this native readily returns and multiplies. In our area, milkweed blooms… Continue reading Milkweed: It’s Not Just for Monarchs

Hello, Summer!

While June’s arrival signals the start of summer and all the delightful offerings we dream of in cold, dreary February, it also signals the dreaded end of the nectar flow here in Maryland. It’s been an interesting flow, one with heavy, prolonged rains, but also one with nectar stores now needing to be cured. Our… Continue reading Hello, Summer!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

And the nectar flow!  The Maryland nectar flow relies upon tulip poplar, black locust and blackberry, all beginning to bloom as my scaled hive proves with steady increases of five to seven pounds each day last week.  As we revel in warm weather, watching our busy girls returning to the hives with full bellies of nectar… Continue reading April Showers Bring May Flowers

Honey Bee Forage Sources in Maryland

We watched our girls visit early bloomers like winter aconite, crocus, and hellebores, grateful for these food sources while we wait for the warmer temperatures needed to wake up more pollen and nectar-rich plants.  April is now upon us with promises of rising temperatures, sunny skies and rain to help in the cause.  These warmer… Continue reading Honey Bee Forage Sources in Maryland

Vegetable Gardening for Honey Bees

These cold winter days don’t allow for much gardening time.   Like many of you, I’ve been considering the possibilities that spring planting offers lately, particularly as seed catalogs pile up and lure me into their pages with colorful spreads of summer’s bounty.  Last week, it was warm enough for bees to fly.  I went out… Continue reading Vegetable Gardening for Honey Bees

Winter Bee Food Sources

As I write this just before Christmas, we’ve had snow three times already this winter. Cold enough for snow means honey bees are clustered deep within their hive bodies, diligently working to sustain their lineage via regulating temperature, caring for the queen and raising limited brood, all the while eating through their honey stores. The… Continue reading Winter Bee Food Sources

Fall Planting for Honey Bees

Fall planting can begin now, in August while it’s really hot and humid.  That’s because now is the time to take stock of what is feeding your honey bees during the nectar dearth.   This time of the year, the abundance of nectar rich spring and summer bloomers have past their prime.  If your bees… Continue reading Fall Planting for Honey Bees