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Late August Hive Check

Portrait of a Honeybee from Luba's hive
Anya' s girls making Honey again
Close up, Luba's hive
Detail, Luba's Brood comb
Luba's Brood
More honey in the works
Propolis connections Luba's Hive

Beautiful View of Luba's honeybees at work
Anya's girls tending be bread, pollen and brood


Sweet Inspiration

These are very small studies in oil on canvas
that I started  to paint after working with the hives.
I am amazed at the many colors
of pollen and honey in the hive
and my attempt to capture it  is a pity compared
to nature's marvelous artistry and industry!

Bees Hanging Out on the North Side of Things

For the last few days the bees have been doing something very curious.
They have been hanging out on the North side of the hives
and also on the North side of this ceramic piece in the front yard.
There is no queen with them, and it is not shaded in any way either..
They are also hanging out on the north side of the hive entrances..
 I love their golden colors against the blue.
Anybody know why?

 They did this for about 3 to 4 days  before and after the East Coast Earthquake, and then stopped.

One Bee on the Hummingbird Feeder

Flowers Blooming Now in Our Garden

Nacotiches Noisette 

Not sure what this is!(?)

Scentimental Rose
Sweet Autumn Clematis 
(Clematis paniculata,  or Clematis terniflora)
purple clematis


Busy Bees on Passionflower or "MayPop" Blossoms

Close up of honey bee on Passionflower or " May Pop"  bloom

Honey, bumbles, carpenters  and wasps all love the blossoms

More Water for the Bees

A thirsty honeybee

Bee waterer - top view showing pebbles



Discovery Channel Video on Honey Production

Caring for Bees During a Drought

My homemade Bee Waterer
made from ceramic jar bottoms and pebbles
I placed it under the porch roof to catch rainwater and dew
and I refresh it everyday to keep out mosquitos if you look carefully,
you can see bees drinking on the bottom center and  right.
We all think about the birds not having enough water on dry days and months in the summer... 
But Bees really need water not only to drink, but to also keep the hive cool.  
They can use up to a quart a day when it get hot.
So when putting out water for bees, it is important to remember a few things.
First things first; 
Bees cannot swim, and need something to climb out onto to get a drink. 
This can be a stick, a brick  or statue immersed in the birth bath, or rocks and pebbles.
 I put pebbles and small rocks in large pot bottoms and the bees love it. 
Bees also love to forage for water so a little extra watering of the lawn near their hive helps.
Spray the grass, or water the lawn regularly with a good gentle oscillator.
Walter Kelly suggests floating sponges in bird baths.
Also one more tip from Walter Kelly-
Bees evidently love watermelon just as much as we do. If you have an old one, or rinds, place them near the hives for them to feed on. 
Learn more about Walter at


Taking Advantage of the Summer Sun to Melt and Refine Wax

A few videos from various sources on how to melt and filter beeswax

My Dear Friend Eliot Came by for a Visit

Proud to be a Louisiana Beekeeper!

There are currently only about 380 Beekeepers  in Louisiana.
I am a hobbyist Louisiana Beekeeper.
If you are interested in adding to that number...
Join a local beekeeping organization!
Find out about what it takes before you buy the bees and equipment.

Louisiana Beekeeping Association

Local Beekeeping Associations

Even if you can't or don't wish to be a beekeeper, you can
Support Louisiana bees by keeping fresh water in your garden,
 Planting fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables  and berries for them to pollinate,
and limiting your use of pesticides.

 Please support Louisiana Beekeepers 
by buying local Louisiana Honey!

Nurse Bees

A newly hatched baby bee tending the Brood

A newly hatched baby bee has lots of golden "hairs" or " fur" on its face . They start working to feed the Queen and tend the  newly laid eggs and larvae that will become fellow worker bees in the hive.( Four stages of a honey bee's life are egg, larva, ( shown above that look like lttle worms) Pupa,  and Bee.  The newly hatched Nurse Bees  feed the larva royal jelly and they feed the older larve  "Bee Bread" which is a fermented pollen mixture that they make,  and honey of course!


Dances with Bees

A few you tube videos explaining the "waggle dance " of the bees and what it means...


Bee Humor

What did the bees say to the flowers? 
Well,  Hello Honey!"

What did the confused bee say?
"To bee or not to bee?"
What did the bee order for lunch at the diner?
A humm-burger!
Who is the bees favorite singer?  Sting!

Why do bees have sticky hair?

Because of the honey combs

Why did the queen bee kick out all of the other bees?
Because they kept droning on and on.....

What did the hot bee say to the other hot bee this Summer? 
"S'warm here,  isn't it?"
Who is the bee's favorite Dancer and Choreographer?
BUZZ-BEE Berkeley!

    Bees Have Five Eyes!

    Bees all have 5 eyes;
    Two on each side of their face for day vision and 
    Three small eyes on the top of their heads for seeing in the dim light of the hive.
    A Bee Meeting on the landing board.

    Bees Taste with Their Feet!

    Bees have taste receptors on all of their feet!

    This is one of Luba's Bees dusted with confectioner's sugar.
    Notice the shapes on the end of her feet.

    Hot August Hive Check

    It has been extremely dry and hot- 100F in the shade on the North porch! Whew!
    So I didn't now what to expect..
    They have definitely been gathering the buckwheat pollen, as their honey is darker and buttery and delicious, although there is not as much of it as before,maybe at most two frames as the nectar is not flowing so much in this dreadful heat. I have been putting out extra water  in containers equipped with "bee- ladders" so they won't drown. This hive check, there was still a whole lot of freshly laid brood in each hive, and I dusted them both with a confectioners's sugar bath.
    We also had a friend come visit and video the hive so I can't wait to see what he puts together to help people understand that we must pay attention and care for the bees.

    Luba's hive is still larger and more productive than Anya's Hive.
    Luba lays more eggs, while Anya makes more honey.

    Any's brood comb

    Nice clear board checks!

    Workers pulling comb

    Honey on the comb

    Activity inside the hive

    Luba's Brood Comb

    A little extra brood on the bottom of the frame

    Detail of luba's Brood comb with Bee bread( pollen) on the left.

    Luba's Brood comb

    Luba's freshly laid brood larvae

    Beautifully shaped curve at the bottom of Luba's brood comb
    Luba's workers tending the Beebread ( pollen ) stores
    Luba's landing board

    Side view of  Luba's Hive and the smoker

    A Few Important Beekeepers from History

    Benjamin Franklin
    Leo Tolstoy
    Karl von Frisch - Bee dance documentarian who won the Nobel Prizefor his bee research.
    Nichel Jacob discovered that workers raise a new queen from larvae.
    Martin John discovered that bees make wax in 1684
    A.I. Root
    John Dzierzon
    Moses Quinby - This beekeeper invented the modern bee smoker in 1875- He wrote Mysteries of Bee-Keeping Explained, 1853

    L.L. Langstroth - This minister  designed the beehive commonly used in Medina, Ohio in 1851.
    He wrote- The Hive and the Honey Bee,  1853 
    Abbe Collin, a French Beekeeper, invented the queen excluder  in 1865.
    Gregor Mendel- geneticist beekeeper
    Johannes Mehring -a German beekeeperan inventor of the wax comb foundation, 1857
    Anton Janscha, the Solvenian Royal Beekeeper, who discovered how bees mate.
    Francois Huber-blind naturalist who discovered "bee space"
    harlan J. Smith, Ph. D. astronomer and Beekeeper
    Dobbs- a beekeeper and botanist who documented bees as pollinators.
    Charles Mraz-a beekeeper and apitherapist for over 60 years.
    Charles Henry Turner, Ph.D. , research and writings on bee color vision, shape and pattern recognition, and feeding times,  1890+.
    E C Porter - An American invented the Porter Bee Escape, in 1891.
    Karl Kehrle or Benedictine Monk known as Brother Adam who developed the Buckfast bee. 
    Charles Butler, who discovered that the supposed "King Bee" was actually a female  and that Drones were males in1609. He wrote Feminine Monarchie.
     Thomas Wildman wrote Treatise on the Management of Bees, 1768
    Berbard de Mandeville wrote the Fable of the Bees,  1723
     Dr. Eva Crane wrote Archeology of Beekeeping &  Honey 
    Peter Prokopovich
    St. Ambrose
    Napoleon Bonaparte
    Le Quy Quynh
    Luis Mendez de Torres
    Henry Fonda
    Peter Fonda
    Matt Damon
    Scarlett Johansson
    Brigham Young
    Viktor Yushchenko
    Sir Edmund Hillary
    Pope Urban III
    George Washington
    Prince Cesi  of Italy
    Martha Stewart 
    Maria von Trapp 
    Maurice Maeterlinck
    Raymond Poincare


    The Amazing Louisiana Honeybee

    There are usually between- 20,000 an 60,000 bees in a hive,  depending on many factors, such as age, time of year, etc.
     There is usually only 1 queen, and about 200 drones,
     and the rest are worker bees.
    Worker bees live only about 6-8 months.
    In that short time, they do a multitude of tasks and are in constant motion.
    Take care of the queen
    Take care of the young bees,
    Honey bees, produce and build the wax combs that form the brood hive and honeycomb,
    They gather the pollens and nectars for the hive and
    Make the Honey, and Bee bread.
    Field Bees can travel up to 3-5 miles  (600 acres)  to find nectar for the hive.
    To produce just 1 pound of honey, the bees must visit about 2 million flowers!
    They also come back to the hive and dance so that the other bees know where  to find food.
    Guard Bees  defend the hive.

    Don't forget that...
    The humble, hardworking honeybee is also the Louisiana State Insect!


    The Buckwheat is Blooming

    Detail of Buckwheat Blooms
    We planted Buckwheat along the driveway and in areas all around the yard, especially near the hives, so that the bees would have blossoms through the summer months. Since the rains, the buckwheat has blossomed nicely and I can't wait to see what the honey tastes like this time. Buckwheat is easy to grow and it is very good for poor acidic soils like ours. It also helps to reduce erosion, which is helpful on our little hill. It  is actually not related to wheat and is not a true cereal, and is related to rhubarb, and  a broad leafed pseudocereal such as Amaranth or Quinoa. 
    Buckwheat was first cultivated in Asia as early as 6000 BC. The flour  is used in the production of many foods worldwide, such as pancakes, the Belgian ( Wallonian) "bo√Ľketes"  Japanese Soba Noodles, beer,  tea and much more. Buckwheat contains no gluten, and  is highly nutritous. I can't wait to see how it effects the flavor  and color of the honey in the hives.
    Nice patch growing along the driveway