Tag Archives: beekeeping

January

Samantha Burns   January 24, 2017   2 Comments on January
january-farm-planning

I got up this morning to 45 degrees. Several times when I’ve gotten home from Johnny’s the thermometer we have tacked to a 2×4 in the kitchen has read 42-degrees. When you’re heating exclusively with wood, if you’re away for 12 hours or you make the choice to get a good night’s sleep rather than get up and down all… Read more »

DIY mouse-guards: how and when to install them on your beehive

mouse-invasion_fi

Harvest is now past, the leaves are falling from the trees to blanket the Earth as we move deeper into the darker half of the year, and things are cooling down here in Maine. Now that I have 7 seasons of beekeeping behind me I know that I prefer to have all of my winter hive preparations finalized by no later than… Read more »

Announcing our new blog-sponsor!

maria-and-i-at-market

I’ve been working on this project for quite some time, and at long last I am able to share this great news with you─Johnny’s Selected Seeds has signed on as a blog-sponsor with Runamuk Acres! If you’re a follower of the Runamuk blog you’re likely aware of the fact that I’m a beekeeper working to build my apiary into a… Read more »

Feeding Bees in the Fall

feeding beehives syrup in the fall

It’s that time of year when beekeepers are ramping up winter preparations for their beehives. We’re inspecting hives for colony strength, putting entrance reducers and mouse-guards on hives, applying mite treatments and feeding to ensure colonies have adequate stores to overwinter on. I have 15 hives going into winter and some of them are incredibly heavy with bees and honey stores,… Read more »

Talking pollinators at the Common Ground Fair

pollinator-conservation-in-agriculturefi

At 2pm on Saturday, September 24th I will be in Unity at MOFGA’s annual Common Ground Fair to give a talk Ive dubbed “Pollinator Conservation through Agriculture”. *Insert excited squeal here.* There’s a decided interest from the public in pollinators, I’m excited to be able to say. You see it in the news, in the increasing numbers of backyard-beekeepers, at… Read more »

No honey to sell….again

honeybee on royal hybrid

It’s difficult to be at market and have to tell customers that I’m not going to have any honey this year, but that’s the state of things at the Runamuk Apiary. Two years in a row and no honey to sell. The reason for this honey-shortage is largely related to the fact that we’re still building up the Runamuk Apiary… Read more »

DIY screened bottom board “sticky-stuff”

diy screened bottom board sticky-stuff

The beginning of August signifies the end of the spring nectar flow here in Maine. At this point in the season there is a nectar dearth, meaning we experience a period of time when there is a scarcity of available nectar. In my neck of the woods the dearth usually lasts 2-3 weeks on average. Beekeepers in Maine take advantage… Read more »

Moving beehives

Hives on the truck

The sky was just beginning to lighten Saturday morning as I went out to the apiary with scissors and a wet sponge. The bees were not yet active so it was an ideal time to close up hives in preparation for moving. I manage a few hives for Ernie and Gwen Hilton of Hyl-Tun Farm in Starks; just as mine… Read more »

Swarm!

Samantha Burns   June 17, 2016   1 Comment on Swarm!
honeybee swarm

A swarm of bees is a beautiful thing. A veritable cloud of bees all flying in every direction as they search for a pace to land their Queen. They choose a spot and form a protective ball around Her; a mass of bees with only one goal in mind: finding a new home. I didn’t even see the swarm until… Read more »

Even more bees!

new bees 2016

I got the call last week from the local beekeeper I’d ordered nucs with; they were ready. I was at Johnny’s at the time and could not contain myself─everyone around me knew my enthusiam and excitement. Yay bees! That moment of elation was quickly followed by a moment of panic. The loan I had applied for had not yet come… Read more »

Maine beekeepers State of the State Address

maine apiaries

Every year at the annual meeting of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association our state apiarist, Anthony (Tony) Jadczak talks about the condition of our bees throughout the course of the year. We all laughingly refer to it as Tony’s “State of the State Address”, but it really is important information to relay to the body of Maine beekeepers. Staying aware… Read more »

Honeybees and the landscape

runamuk honeybee forage map

Studying under Professor Frank Drummond at the University of Maine, Brianne Du Clos is a PhD candidate studying how bees use the landscape and what types of land offer good forage resources. She also happens to be a beekeeper and a member of the Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers group, and she presented her research to the beekeepers at the November 2015… Read more »

January hive check

Me and the Winter Bees

What does a beekeeper do in the deep depths of winter when it’s too cold and snowy for bees and beekeeping? I know you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, lol. My season at the orchard is over, my vacation was wonderful but that is now over; and on January 4th I started back at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, resuming… Read more »

Skunk relocation project

skunkie in the trap

If you’ve been following along with my story you’ve likely already heard about the situation with our local skunk. He─or she─took out a clutch of half a dozen chicks a couple of months ago, and since then he’s been terrorizing the beehives and digging up the lawn all around the farmhouse in search of grubs. This last bit I mind… Read more »

Runamuk’s first-ever on-farm workshop!

Saturday’s “Beekeeping 101” workshop was a success and I am enamored–ecstatic–and relieved, lol. Okay, so there was only one student–but she was a very important guest on the farm. This woman traded me the new group of birds–the 18 laying hens, 4 heritage breed turkeys, and a goose named Michael–for 2 spots in Runamuk workshops. She was Runamuk VIP while… Read more »

How was the Open-Hive Event?

With the Open-Hive behind me, the garden in maintenance mode, and the bees content to do their thing, there’s a momentary lull in the activity here at Runamuk that affords me the opportunity to write. Generally speaking, things are going well here at Runamuk’s new location. It’s painstakingly slow progress, but it’s progress and I’m content with that. The Open-Hive Event… Read more »

Open-hive event at Runamuk

We’ve got a beautiful location for this event, and new Queens arriving this week–so as long as the weather cooperates, beekeepers from around the area can participate in making splits at the Runamuk apiary. I also plan to demonstrate some of the various mite-testing methods since this is such a crucial aspect of beekeeping these days. These open-hive events are a great… Read more »

Licensed to process

Samantha Burns   July 30, 2014   Comments Off on Licensed to process
honey at farmers' market

A week ago today I was in a frantic frenzy to get the Runamuk homestead de-cluttered, cleaned, and scoured in preparation for an inspection by Maine’s Division of Quality Assurance and Regulations.  Marshall Piper, the Consumer Protection Inspector who manages inspection and licensing of home-processing and commercial kitchen licensing for our area was due to arrive on Thursday, and the… Read more »

Open-Hive for Summer Solstice

Samantha Burns   June 24, 2014   Comments Off on Open-Hive for Summer Solstice
beekeepers' open hive

It wasn’t the way I had intended to celebrate the summer solstice, but because last Saturday was raining and wet, the Open-Hive Event (OHE) that Runamuk was hosting for the Somerset Beekeepers was postponed til the 21st–which just happened to be the longest day of the year–the Summer Solstice. Most farmers, I think–are particularly attuned to nature–seeing as we are… Read more »

How and why to do mite-tests in your apiary

varroa mite on honeybee

Recently I went around to the various Runamuk apiaries to perform my annual mite-tests, and while the 12 colonies under my care have struggled to produce surplus honey, I am happy to say that compared to last year when mite problems ran rampant throughout the state–and even my own hives–this year mites have posed less of a problem. While I… Read more »

How to get started keeping bees

how to keep bees

Keeping bees is a fascinating and rewarding hobby.  For many people, once they get started they are quickly infected with what is known as “Bee-fever” and there is no turning back.  Some beekeepers are content with a single or a pair of hives in the backyard, others can’t help but grow their little apiary year after year. If you’re think… Read more »