Welcome to Oak Orchard Honey

We are a small beekeeping operation a short bike ride from the shore of Lake Ontario. Our hives are located in the heart of an old growth apple orchard planted by Ed Archbald back in the 1920s. A variety of apple trees were planted nearby in the 1990s that our bees visit, and we also have enough meadow with wild flowers to supply them with nectar and pollen through much of the season.

We are in the process of collectin feral bees and regressing our present bees back to the cell size of 4.9 mm. Cell size has been artificially increased since 1890s, and some members of the beekeeping community attribute many of today's bee health problems with this increased cell size.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

iPhone Movie

This is a test to see if I can upload movies from my iPhone. I was out at sundown and tried a 15 second movie of the evenings's activities. Now I just have to figure out why it's sideways...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blooms

Cold with a bit of snow today; kind of thought we were past all that.
I took some pictures of what is blooming in the yard so I could look
back next year and get an idea how early or late spring is.

The dandelions have just appeared in the past couple days. I've always
liked dandelions and felt that they are wildflower not a weed. I think
of a weed as one of those things with thorns that causes intense pain
when you step on it. Now that I have honey bees I feel like mowing all
those great flowers is not as easy as it used to be, especially when
bees are working them.

The catalpa trees have small buds and some are starting to open on
lower branches of the young trees. The older ones look as if it were
mid-winter, not any signs of life.

The cherry tree pictured here has bloomed within the past two days,
while the Bradford pear has been in full bloom for about the past five
or six days. A few honey bees were on the blooms in the late afternoon
when I got home the other day, but I never got to see if it was being
heavily visited during the rest of the day. Not sure if it is a good
source of nectare or not.

We will be out of the freezing temperatures by tomorrow and back into
the sixties by the middle of the week.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gathering

Things look active at both hives, but I won't see them for a week
because of vacation. I'm writing as we travel down 95 on our way to
Kure Beach. The forsythia and cherry trees are in full bloom as we
motor along the Virginia countryside. I'm looking to see if there are
honey bees on the blossoms, but haven't noticed any yet.
I have heard it said that spring travels north at about twenty miles
an hour. That puts flowers like the ones I'm looking at about twenty
days away. That's not too bad.