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.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bee Audio and Video


Picture of the sun this morning.

School is almost over for the year. On June 24 all the paperwork for the year has to be handed in by 11:00 a.m. and I can walk out the door.

In the next couple weeks I have two trap-outs I'm going to try for the first time. I've read the blog posts, looked at pictures, and watched the videos. One of the colonies is in a tree that is up pretty high in a tree, so I'm going to get a travel-lift from my brother to reach that one. The other is in an inaccessible area of an old house that is the grandmother's home of a teacher I work with. I should get some interesting posts on my blog from those situations. Not too interesting - I hope.

About two weeks ago the catalpa blossoms emerged, but I really haven't seen any real honeybee activity on any of the blossoms. June 5 was the first day that I noticed them, which seems earlier than last year. I think I posted the bloom date on the BeeSource forum last June after school was out.

Thanks to my friend over at Poemfarm.blogspot for the heads-up on the NPR podcast below.

Music from the NPR podcast "Honeybee" by Zee Avi

LISTEN TO NPR PODCAST

Backyard beekeeping is hot and cool at the same time — part environmental, part epicurean. A meditation on buzzing beauty. A path to nature, and to sweet pots of honey.

Maybe there’s a hive in your back lot, or a honeycomb fresh on your kitchen table.

This Hour, On Point: we’re catching up with America’s new wave of backyard beekeepers.

-Tom Ashbrook