Tag Archives: beekeeping

January hive check

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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

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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!

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

New Queens in the apiary

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new honeybee queens

Despite my best efforts this spring to make successful and productive splits and nucs (read more about that here), I still found myself with 4 out of 12 hives Queenless come July.  I do not claim to know it all when it comes to bees and beekeeping, and after talking to beekeepers with 30 and 40 years of experience under… Read more »

How to get started keeping bees

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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 »