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, August 18, 2012

Mid-Summer Honey

The mid-summer harvest went well. Both hives seem to be building up at about the same rate. We were able to extract a medium super off each hive leaving four mediums for the bees.

The last frame on each super had not been fully drawn out so I swapped them out for one of the empty frames on the supers I added. This is one of the reasons I will be switching over to eight frame mediums; those outside frames are hard to get drawn out. Also, in eight frame mediums the bees are less likely to eat themselves into a corner and not be able to move up into the honey stores.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Craig Yerdon's Organically Managed Beekeeping Podcasts

I have been really enjoying Craig's podcast about organic hive methods. A couple of things have been repeated enough times in just a few episodes to make me understand their importance.

1. I need to stop with the large cell foundation for reasons made very clear by Craig and his guests
2. I need to switch over to 8 frame mediums for all my hive boxes, again for various reasons.
3. I need to re-listen to the pod casts and write down a few things that will make me a better keeper.

The things I am hearing help me to better understand the nature of bees. I always felt that if I had to keep the bees alive by artificial or pharmacological methods I would need to just get out of the hobby.

It sounds like I can have success without introducing foreign materials into the hives - that's perfect...

Link:  http://somdbeekeeper.com

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Backyard Pool Cause for Bee Relocation

I put a pool in our backyard... It was a very dry start to the summer, and the bees were very happy to hang out at the pool with us. My family was not so cool with "swimming with the bees". So, I packed up the two hives and drove an hour away to our feral apple orchard on the south shore of Lake Ontario. The bees now have a two acre pond to draw all the water they need. The fall season will last longer there because the lake will moderate temperatures for a while. They will also get a later start because during spring the temperatures will stay significantly cooler than it will be just a few miles inland.

This will be an interesting new start.