• Beekeeper John

    About the writer: John Kirk is an avid gamer, a writer, a student, and apparently likes writing in third person.

    I’m 22 summers old and a student at Rowan University, studying journalism. I’m from “South Jersey” for those who understand, New Jersey to those that don’t....Read more on the About Page....

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My Personal Corrections Policy- If I were in charge of a media organization.

In today’s 24/7 news cycle it is easy to get caught up in letting mistakes by your publication slip by. However there is even less of an excuse to do so. There are a few simple and easy ways I see to report errors and make those corrections swiftly. Here are some of what I would do to better my publication if I happened to be in charge of a media organization:

* Append a note to any article that’s been corrected, explaining the change;

* Keep a list of these changes, linking to the corrected articles, at a fixed location on the site;

* Post a brief corrections policy, with information about how readers can report errors they find;

* Make sure that your corrections listing page and your corrections policy (whether they’re on the same or different pages) are part of your site navigation — they should be accessible by one click from any page on your site.

* Make it easy for readers to report mistakes to you

* Make fixing mistakes a priority

Happy editing!

Oh yeah, and my honeybees are doing great!

5 Things Copy Editors Always Need

There are somethings that never go out of style, they are always needed in the newsroom and just because technology advances  doesn’t mean these things go out of style.

1. Copy editors will always need the AP style book. Whether it’s online or in printed form, it is absolutely an essential tool for working in the newsroom.

2. Something else that will always been needed is a good dictionary.

3. Copy editors will need the support of  other staff and that won’t change no matter how much technology we have

4. Something that will follow into the future of copy editing is being able to work by oneself for 8 hours a day in relative solitude.

5. Copy editors can always rely on the Internet and its vast resources for mostly everything they needed before there was an Internet.

Maiden March Flight!

Yesterday I attempted to make a honeybee fondant. It didn’t quite turn out just as I thought it should. Those guides should really have step by step pictures or video. Maybe I should have just consulted my good friend Jen over at Twenty-Something and Starving!

At any rate the first step was to measure out the High-Fructose Corn Syrup. I did one cup:

Man that's dark stuff!

Then I measured out one cup of sugar:

As you can see, we like sugar at my house!

All the while I had the final ingredient, water, coming to a boiling:

Then the mixing took place:

Slowly....slowly

Sugar's next

Then I had to wait for it to all combine:

Letting it heat up

When all was said and done I let it cool until it was warm to the touch and laid it out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper:

Getting it ready

After a night in the fridge to harden (which it didn’t and just remained sticky. Lame.) I gathered my smoker, some fuel and my hive tool and headed out to my hive’s winter home in the front yard and put the fondant inside.

I checked back on the hive later that afternoon as I was about to make my way back to Rowan for classes, and to my surprise and supreme enjoyment my bees were flying!!

Still snow on the ground too!

Closer now…

Hey Girls!!

Closer still…

Long time no see!

So my day was made to see those tough little bees come swarming out, doing their thing and just plain surviving. I feel like a successful beekeeper now! However, I’m not out of the woods yet, there is still some tough weeks to get through but by the end of this month, things should be looking up!

Gearing Up

So this weekend around Saturday, I should be getting in touch with Tim Schuler in order to help him repair and organize some of his hives, and in return for my help, he has agreed to give me some hives he doesn’t have interest in anymore.

So soon, I shall add to my one hive I have already:

This was shot in the late summer

Suffice to say I’m pretty excited! I really can’t wait to get more honeybees and harvest more this Fall then before.

Looking for your new (or used) hive!

So around this time of the year is when aspiring beekeepers and those looking to expand their colonies should start looking for equipment. I’m talking hive bodies, bottom boards, and everything else that goes with them.

Now there are two different ways to go about getting a home for your girls. First you could order an entire hive from either a local supplier or an online store such as Rossman Apiaries or Better Bee.

Or you could try to do what I’m trying this season, and ask around your local beekeeping community and see if anyone is either getting rid of, or trying to sell some of their old hives off.

Just because someone is selling their hives or getting rid of old equipment doesn’t mean that it is of poor quality or a worse choice then say buying new. Usually it means that they my be getting older or are becoming busier in their lives and selling their hives to aspiring beekeepers will ensure that their hives are going to a good cause.

As with anything, when buying things from peers in your community you always want to check it for damage and ask about its history, just because you are pursuing the same hobby as they are doesn’t mean that their equipment is up to par or ever kept in great shape.

Some of the benefits are that if you get someone willing to sell you the entire hive and all its frames are: you will be getting some really valuable already drawn out comb, and they may be willing to sell to you cheaper if they learn you are a beginner beekeeper and just because you are in the certain close-knit family that beekeeping breeds. Just remember that already drawn out comb means your honeybees will have much much less work when you hive them in the early spring. This will lead them to start producing more honey and brood!

News and Such

So I wanted to do a quick update before I head off to my next class, and in this update I wanted to bring to light two things: an amazing article about honeybees remembering faces that was referred to me by a friend and the up coming meetings in the South Jersey Beekeeping Association.

I won’t summarize the article so you have the pleasure of reading it yourself, but according to a new study, honeybees use the same technique as humans do to recall faces they’re seen before. Interesting…

So head over to The New York Times and check it out!

The second thing I wanted to talk about is the New Jersey state honey show will be talking place this Friday. Judging will be held that day for all those entering.

If you would like to see all the entries on display, you may come anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, February 8, 9, and 10. The entries will be packed up (for transport to the state meeting on Febuary 13) and the display cases removed to storage around noon on Thursday, February 11, 2010. So if you plan on visiting, the display area will be located at the State House Annex, 3rd Floor, 125 W. State Street, Trenton, NJ. There is limited visitor parking on Garage Level 1

The NJBA also has its winter meeting Saturday, February 13th, 2010 at the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture 103 College Farm Road North Brunswick, NJ 08902. They have a whole day planned out. If you desire the full e-mail with everything that is happening that day just leave a comment asking for it and your e-mail and I’ll forward it to you.

I’ll post again soon!

Hiatus Over

So school has started back up again and I now find myself with more idle time on my hands.

Which is great because now is the time of the season when my bees will need my help the most. As we start to move closer to spring a queen bee will begin to lay eggs that are to hatch at the beginning of the spring build up and become the bees that will help the colony into the late spring. With all the activity, it goes without saying that the colony will start increasing their consumption of honey, at times tripling their former rate of consumption.

This means that hives will start to get lighter in weight and on warmer days, they will need to be fed in order to make it through the rest of the winter. Since it’s too cold to feed them the sugar syrup, you will need to make fondant. Fondant is sometimes called “bee candy” because it is a near solid food supplement that can be fed to the colony in cold months and help them through the winter.

In a pinch you can even open the hive, place some newspaper on the top bars of the upper deep and put some granulated sugar on top in a pile and on warm days they will use it.

In other news I went to the South Jersey Beekeeping Association’s meeting this past Saturday. The guest speakers were the talented owners of Herbertsville Honey, Alf and Ceil Berg. They gave an amazing hands on demonstration of the making of their award-winning soaps and body creams.

In all it was a good weekend to be a young and excited beekeeper. Let me know how your hives are doing after feeding them some of that fondant.

Happy beekeeping!

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