Author Archives: bigbear

Bee Nirvana is taking shape for next spring

The newest apiary which I call “Bee Nirvana”, is beginning to take more permanent shape.  The less stable temporary hive stand that we had set up to put the first hive in has been replaced as of today with the cement block stands I usually use.

The plan for this apiary is to place up to twelve hives, a combination of at least four HTBH’s for cut comb production and up to eight MWH’s for liquid honey and beeswax production.  Propolis will be harvested from both types of hives.

Ready For Halloween – Pure Beeswax Candles

The Holiday Season is coming up and Halloween is first!  How about some great beeswax votive candles to light up those Jack O’ Lanterns? We have them $1.25 each, 6 pack- $7.00, 12 pack- $11.00

Made in South Omaha by South Omaha beekeepers with wax from hives in the Omaha/Metro area.  Support local beesniz, support local bees.

Made in South Omaha by South Omaha beekeepers with wax from hives in the Omaha/Metro area. Support local beesniz, support local bees.

Got a Halloween party or dinner planned?  pure beeswax taper candles set the mood perfectly.  We have 2 sizes, 6 inch pairs for only $4.95 and 10 inch pairs for only $5.95.

497498handdippedcandleCall me at 402-370-8018 or email me at bigbear@bbe-tech.com

Ode To Honey Bees

I wrote this short poem about2 years ago after having sat for about an hour straight just watching bees flying in and out of the hive.


 

I like to sit and stop and see
the energetic work of a little bee.

I marvel much at such industry
as they buzz round blooms of flower and tree.

The careful frenzy of their quest
shows it’s dedication to the nest.

harvesting nectar, sap and pollen
each bee is laden till it’s near fallen

Carrying fruits of industrious labor
defending the hive with their stinging saber

Honey from nectar they will make
honey for rent I will take

Nothing will be more clever to me
than the busy lifestyle of a bee

Honey Bee Hollow

This is a short story I wrote about four years ago.  Nothing in it happened to me or anyone I know for real but I had been thinking about myself and my own kids and how much they liked to help me with the bees and how that might go on into the future.  Might one of my own kids be thinking something along the lines of this story when my beekeeping days are done?


I remember the late spring and early summer days of clear blue skies with their wispy white clouds hanging, seeming still.

The light, warm breezes, carrying the scents of nature and pleasant days.  Work and worries forgotten in the afternoon wonders of Nature.

Sitting on the old wood bench my Daddy made all those years ago.  Rubbed smooth by all the sitting and talking we did since I was old enough to go along with him out here in the honey bee hollow.

That’s what my Daddy always called it, his honey bee hollow, back between the shed and the rolling fields that stretched as far as the eye could see.

It’s a magic place, where the honey bees live, back in honey bee hollow.  Smells of honey and sunlight in the air and bees flying, busily going to and fro, curiously knowing from whence they came and where they go.

My Daddy started his hives back there when he was young and the honey bees swept his heart away. Mama always said she knew even then, the bees were his ‘other girls’ and there was no point in standing in the way.

I sit here now, just like I did back then, on this old wood bench watching the bees, buzzing softly, going about their terribly important business as though nothing else exists in the world but flowers and honeycomb.

I spent countless days working in honey bee hollow with my Daddy. He taught me just about anything a person could know about honeybees by those hives and sitting on that bench back in honey bee hollow.

In his late years, my Daddy couldn’t work the bees like we used to.  It still gave him so much pleasure to come out and sit on the old wood bench though and listen to the bees, watching them coming and going.

It was out back in honey bee hollow here that my Daddy sat on the wood bench for the last time.  He wanted to stay, he said, just a little bit longer.  I told him he can stay as just as long as he wanted and I went on up to the shed to get some tools.  When I came back, my Daddy was gone.

I walked up behind him, calling to him quietly, not wanting to startle him awake.  Then, I saw the peace on his face and I knew my Daddy would be in honey bee hollow forever and ever.

Now I come to honey bee hollow and sit on this old wood bench and I listen close to the bees and the breeze.  Sometimes, I can still hear my Daddy’s voice, telling me just about all there is to know about honey bees.

Well, we finally got the top bar hive from a friend moved to the new apiary (Bee Nirvana) but sadly, the hive was dead.  It appears that some yellow jackets might have gotten in and run them off.

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On the plus side, the honey that was in the hive, even though it had collapsed and run all over the floor of the hive, will help feed up another hive currently in the apiary so that it can have enough food to survive the Winter.

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In that apiary I had put a feeder pail with my new floater screens to keep bees from drowning.  Apparently, robbing the top bar hive was too lucrative to go looking for the feeder pail yet.   give them a day or two, they’ll find it.

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Back in the Nursery apiary, I set up a feeder for the one hive still there using an old pot.  I put in the same type of floater though.

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You can see that it appears to work well.  I left screen over the edges of the styrofoam ring so that it brushes up against the side of the pot/pail so that bees feeding on the outside of the ring will have a better chance of not drowning.

1007141409Fall feeding will continue for a while longer while the weather holds out and the bees can still get a lot of the moisture reduced from the sugar syrup they get out of the pail.  It’s a 2:1 sugar syrup so that will help the bees reduce that down quicker.  (as opposed to the thinner and more watery 1:1 syrup that we feed them in the Spring.

 

Here is where South Omaha is

For the purpose of discussion, I am going to define South Omaha by it’s current boundaries as determined by the Omaha City Council.

South Omaha runs East to West from the Missouri River and ends at 72nd St.  From Center St on the North edge to Harrison St at the South.

I have more respect for South Omaha than to just figure it’s anything South of Dodge St.  Anyone who follows that thinking is just a dumb ass.

That covers a lot of ground as it is and there is a lot of growing space in South Omaha by those boundaries.  I’ll let you know about them as I find them.

So here’s how this will work

I have been thinking about how keeping a blog related to the business of raising bees, making honey and producing beeswax candles, soaps, etc  and keeping bees in general will work out.

Here’s the lowdown.  I think people will want to know how we take care of the bees.  I think people will want to see how we do things and where we put bees and the awesome things that our bees do.

So the blog here will have post categories relating to:

  • Keeping Bees.  This category of post will talk about things having to do with tasks we perform in working the hives.  You will be able to see when we are doing things like inspecting hives, feeding bees, taking steps to solve hive problems and so on.
  • Apiaries. This category will cover the apiaries we place bees in.  When we get a new place to keep bees in South Omaha or Bellevue, we’ll post it here.  When we make changes to our apiaries, you’ll find out about it here.
  • Did You Know?.  This will be an informational and educational section in which I will post interesting things about bees and beekeeping that you might not know.
  • The Buzz.  This is where I will post information like where we will have a booth or table set up in the area to sell honey, beeswax or propolis.  Events and activities we are involved in to educate and/or entertain people about bees and just let you know where you can find us when we get around.