• 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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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!

Wintering My Hive: Part 1-Moving Shop

One of my Fall bees inspecting me.

One of my Fall bees inspecting me.

So yesterday evening, when all the girls came home from a hard, cold day of foraging for anything they could use for the coming winter, my father and myself set out to bring about the first step in helping the hive survive this winter.

As suggested by Tim Schuler, I moved the hive from where I had originally placed it, to the front of my house which faces the southern sky. The new position will promise constant sunlight once the last leaves fall off. Which is great because if we have an especially cold winter this season, my bees will need all the help I can give them.

So I made this nice little slide show up. Sorry about the sometimes blurriness of the pictures, just remember that they were taken by my mother who was just a little bit afraid of the girls, seeing as she wasn’t wearing a bee suit!

Part 2 of wintering my hive will be coming sometime in the winter when it gets colder and I need to use some hive wrap.

Enjoy another propolis picture!

Cleaning propolis off the top bars of the upper hive body. It's so much easier in the winter than it is in the summer

Cleaning propolis off the top bars of the upper hive body. It's so much easier in the winter than it is in the summer

Buzz Away

I know they aren't honeybees but this is the best picture i could find that wasn't copyrighted!

I know they aren't honeybees but this is the best picture i could find that wasn't copyrighted!

Hello, everyone my name is John Kirk, I’m a journalism student at Rowan University. And I’m a beekeeper. You heard right. A 22 year old beekeeper. You are on a site called “backyard buzz” after all.

This blog is a school work assignment but it has perhaps become much more to me than simply homework. What I hope for this blog is to inform those who may not be in the know when it comes to beekeeping, to inspire young men and women around me to join in on this hobby, to gather all the information I’ve learned and some I’m still learning, and to encourage folks in the South New Jersey area to start their own form of going Green.

So look around- I know its a bit sparse right now, believe me that will change- have fun, leave comments, but most of all learn.

Check out the links on the right hand side, I’ve found some really good blogs, information, and supply websites on there.

Peace Out!