Hive tool to the rescue

Cooking is a hobby I really enjoy. I am not terribly good at it, but I like to practice. Farmer’s Markets are my favorite place to shop since you can get fresh produce and chat with some of the people who put it on your table. I purchased some kale the other weekend and decided to sauté it in a bit of olive oil and salt – properly done it tastes like popcorn. However, the oil got too hot and melted my spatula into my cast iron skillet. It took me a while to figure out how to save my beloved pan, but it came…

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How to Make a Bee Beard

Having about 10,000 bees on your face is one of the best ways to demonstrate how calm and fun bees can be. I have done a few bee beards for demonstrations at fairs and the most common question I get asked is how the bee beard works. I will give a walk through of how we do it. The basic idea is to make the bees think they are in a swarm, but instead of gathering on a tree branch or the like, the bees gather on someone’s chin. Step 1) Prepare the bees. We find a small, friendly colony and move it during a…

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Catching Queens

This week I spent some time with Leonard Pankratz and his crew catching queens. It was a bit chilly and cloudy in the morning, but about noon the clouds parted and it got to be about 75 and sunny. I worked in a sleeve-less shirt and veil-less along side Linda Pankratz. After the unseasonably cold and rainy beginning to this years queen breeding season that set everyone back about two weeks, it was fantastic to work in the sun catching some lovely queens and absorbing the sun.

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Katie Reports from the Field

The other day I did hygienic testing on Buzz Landon’s colonies while they were in the almonds. He brought his two little boys on the day we checked the test. They wore little mittens to protect their hands, but couldn't resist taking them off to poke at the bees. We rode around from pallet-to-pallet on a golf cart that the kids adored and would always yell for their dad to go faster. Buzz would occasionally let them puff smoke on the bees. He laughed and asked me “How many dads do you think let their kids smoke?”

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